Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hungry Ghosts Go Where? Even They Fear Covid-19.

August 19 - September 16 Zhongyuan Jie:

 Taoists, Buddhists, Chinese folk-religion believers. Offerings to ancestors and all deceased during the 7th Lunar Month.

The new-normal in everyday life brought about by Covid has also affected the para-normal in the other life. It's Hungry  Ghost month and news reports on media say that there's  quiet where feasting the spirits  and folks from the other dimension are concerned. "All quiet"? Hmm. So, minimum celebration then? And the ghosts will really be hungry with less food for them on the empty altars.

We safe-distance ourselves all the time from these super-naturals but now it's with strict Covid by-laws. Aren't we all glad? Not for the believers as practices regarding the seventh lunar month festival has been limited. So reduced activities like prayers, dinners, temple-visits and no music extravaganzas and guitar bands to listen to for pop music enthusiasts.

What's interesting is that Getai performances (pop music shows to please the spirits) will be on-line. It also means that  many street shows will be cancelled.  I have never attended a Getai before, and would be a novelty to  watch these artistes perform on home screen. But it will be a different scenario altogether. 

Charlie Lim: Getai Soul 2016 YouTube @ Pearl's Hill City Park, Singapore.

According to a musician friend who has participated many times playing lead guitar with his band, the atmosphere will be lost. Many of us have seen these video music presentations on TV and FB. I think he is right.

One question. Will our unseen members of the audience watching be with us at home then? Peeking over our shoulders? Extra folks to accompany us and enjoying the Getai too? And I am serious!

So if you see your refrigerator door left open and the aroma of food in the middle of the night drifting to your bedroom be known that the hungry ones are around. Even they are careful and stay home to eat for fear of Covid-19.

A Blessed Hungry Ghost Month to all devotees!

Yao Su Rong: Jin Tian Bu Huay Jia (Today, Not Coming Home) Video: meilihua99.

姚蘇蓉 - 今天不回家



Andy cheers n my parents are one of them cos this year
we cant pray all d usual food stuff which my late parents like
Yes if d buttons, but I use 2 coins instead,
And if turns out to b head n tail means Ok
And even now 2 plastic quarter moon-shaped to toss in d air
And repeat it b4 taking back d food stuff to bid farewell
n not forgetting to light up 3 joss sticks to pray on n b4 leaving.


As for me, ANDY... I used to work in the *LOYANG OFFSHORE MARINE BASE*
and every year... The 7th month PRAYER Organising Committee...
Will manage one of the Biggest Celebrations..
*Quite well known amongst the Kher-Tai concert providers*.
The *black gold* is always auctioned off at 100 to 200 thousand.
OK *BLACK GOLD is actually pot filled with jus plain charcoal.
Contractor believed it SUPER AUSPICIOUS ITEM,
VERY GOOD for Business Community.
They are willing to Auction to get control of it, year in year out.
LOYANG FESTIVAL, *mus not pray with any PORK item...
Or Non Hallal material* Once... A new helper used *ROASTED PIG* for prayer..
To the spirits... LOYANG BASE is already looked after by a *MALAY KERAMAT LOYANG*...
THEY showed THEIR DISPLEASURE... *HEAVY Rain & Winds..
The TENTAGES were blowned upside down... Organisers swift action to removed
the offensive item away, offer an apology to the MALAY SHRINE*.. 😨believe it or not... 🙏


��never got to find out if it was one or not. Can't recall if it was 7th month.
Between 1957 & 1959. I was in Primary School. A very old wooden house in Kampong Eunos stood 2 minutes away from my kampong house. One where you had to climb a few wooden steps to get to the living area. And below the house you could store your excess stuff.
Kampong legend has it, that it was a haunted house. It didn't cross my mind.
One afternoon after school, as I was walking by that house, staring at me from an open window, a very dark & ugly looking figure. It had a really ugly face & made a scary noise at me. It then turned around & moved backwards into the house. I got a fright of my life & quickly ran home.
When I mentioned it to neighbours, I was told that that house has been vacant for a very long time. No one lives in it. "Terpranjat, gua."��
A few years later, it was torned down to make way for progress. The area where it stood is now part of the Lorong Sarina enclave, roughly 100 metres away from the junction of Changi Road & Lorong Marican. A Chinese Temple Complex now stands in its place.
This episode has stayed in my memory.����✌������

EDDY ENG said...

In any religion we profess and align to, it is a comforting thought to feel that our departed loved ones continue to exist in another realm. Christians believe in life eternal and that they shall meet again.

Not sure if Christian souls take part in Hungry Ghosts month though. I know living Christians do not. They do not even eat the food offered on the altar. I,for one, do not. Believe me. It tastes different.


Certainly bro', done. Hungry ������ Go Where?
They follow wherever the Getai troupes go...online ��

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I must thank all the good people who immediately contributed
To this post: stories about ghosts or beliefs in them.
Everyone loves ghostly tales and if I know my own experience
they are not to be cast aside as nonsensical or false tales to


This time there’s no Getai
But there are some on-line.


Hi Andy,
The Hungry Ghost Festival is a religious/ traditional practice for the Chinese. Even with the pandemic on, we can still carry on with the tradition and offerings can still be made. So far the authorities have not made any restrictions that we cannot do any praying at home during the 7th month. We should respect our ancestors and tradition should be kept and observed.
Most importantly of course is not forgetting the safe distancing requirements needed.
Getai online? Are our friends from the other side supposed to watch? Do they have the technology? Haha

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Anna
You have written an interesting comment on the HGF;
there are no restrictions on praying at home.
It’s an important point.🙏

Thanks to HS too for her informative comment.


Getai was big business in the past during the 7th month.


Hi Andy, Got Home Aft Work, Had Dinner n Oh So Fortunate To Be Able To Hve Food To Eat.

My Mum, Whn She Was Still Alive. We Did Talk Alittle Abt Hungry Ghost. From What I Read,
Hungry Ghost Hve Hugh Belly, Skinny Limbs, Big Head, A PIN HOLE Size Mouth. With That Tiny Hole For A Mouth,
Eating Becomes Very Difficult. Besides,
The Moment This Unfortunate Being Thinks or Touches Food...
That Food Becomes Bad.

My Dear Mum Told Me,
Once After Offering Food Etc, n After A Certain Time Hve Passed. She Took n Cut Open The Food That Was Offered. Lo n Behold, The Inside Had Turn Bad, Even
Though The Exterior Of Those Food Looks Normal. It Can't Be Eaten.

If Only Human Realizes, How Fortunate They Are To Hve Food For Their Nourishment, While Countless Others Dont Hve or Cant Hve. Humans Would Not Waste Their Food.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Oh wow!
This piece of information I'm truly unaware of . It's interesting that you mentioned; when THEY touch the food it turns bad.
Thanks so much for taking time during your busy schedule Merlin to write such a detailed reply for our readers.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I sent a question to a friend who plays often for Getais to ask him of there are SPECIAL SONGS played during Getais, like ones that discusses ghosts and spirits? And I also asked him to detail a few.

This is my friend's reply. He is the same person who plays lead guitar for a number of bands.

"There is no particular one song, usually a variety that you can expect which are a mixture of popular Hokkien and Cantonese renditions besides the usual Mandarin pop songs that caters more for the older folks."

So for readers who require information regarding songs played this friend's reply should answer it.

Remember that these beliefs are both cultural and religious and they are best respected by most Singaporeans because of the country's multi-racialism.


i remember one hungry ghost month i attended a getai and the fantastic band was playing many pop hits from the 70's and 80's. one song came out best and appropriate to the season called GHOST BUSTERS - many non-english speakers also know the song and clapped and clapped


Getai online? How r they supposed to watch? I'd like to think they cannot enter one's home. There are protocols to follow being from a different realm!

Soo Khoon's mentioned it being big business reminded me too that back in the 70s there were alot of Getais running per night during the 7th month! Some of the top recording artistes only need to sing 3 songs before running to the next venue! Performing 5-10 shows per night depending on how far the distance between all the shows all they need was to hire a private hire car(par ong chia) to ferry them around per night just for that one month!!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Irene for a much needed and honest opinion. I agree that lots of these celebrations are commercialised. We are living in a society where earnings over ride everything else, even the poor hungry ones...
Appreciate your information


🤣... Got a friend... Used to plays a mean BASS guitar...
As a side line... He can make $20thousand just for *7th month Ghost Festival*
His chinese professional Band goes out for $8000 per show.
They come complete wit all the *loud costumed chinese singers, local MCs..etc.

Actual profession... Supply, repairs and reconditions sound systems for
local churches and auditorium.. Very professional indeed..
Have used their services before for t-dances at CCs.


Thanks for highlighting the Hungry Ghost Festival in yr latest blog. As mentioned I went to the ChineseTemple in Toa Payoh this morning with my Siblings to pay respect to our parents. It was the first time I had to do a Check In scan at the main entrance to temperature taken during Covid 19

For thousands of yrs Mexicans also celebrate Day of the Dead ( Tiesta Dia de Muertos ) on Nov 2 each year. This festival was Awarded under Intangible UNESCO Cultural Heritages in Mexico. The Aztec to Toltec people considered mourning of the dead disrespectful. They offers candles, traditional dishes , water , toys , to food n flowers on an Alter. Streets or houses are decorated with brilliant colors of skeletons to other abstract art. Dances n singing as its like street party atmosphere. I was fortunate to attend the festival last Nov 2 organised by the Mexican Association of Singapore. It was held at the spookiest venue - Tiger Balm Gardens ( Haw Par Villa ).

FL said...

2020 is quietest Chinese 7th month ever here due to the C-19 Pandemic. Even if there is no Pandemic, Ghost Month festival celebration cannot be compared in the heyday of the 1960s/1970s era. In my younger days, I remember the Chinese wayangs could go on for weeks utilised the same temporary stage in the field. Each dialect groups would stage their opera for a few days each, starting with Cantonese, Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese, and rarely, Hakka (not necessarily in this order). It could also followed up with modern concerts (getai) for a night or two. There were big crowds, unlicensed food hawkers, the street noises plus the loud clang of the opera musical instruments. There were Chinese dinners in the evenings with auctions nearby. Not forgetting the burning of huge joist-sticks and candles in numbers (now it is limited by the laws). That was truly a complete Ghost month celebration I ever experienced in my youth.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...