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Qing Ming Festival-Should we eat the food offering?

Worshipping Tai Sui (太歲) - Friend or Foe?

Worshipping the White Tiger- To avoid calamities and blood shed?

Burning of Joss paper - A Taoist practice?

Ba Zi / Four Pillars of Destiny Analysis of Michael Jackson

What is the Five Ghost Transfer Wealth Technique?

The Taoist Secret Dharma of Opening the Third Eye to see Ghosts

Taoist Magic used to Win in Gambling? 

The Hungry Ghosts Festival

 

Qing Ming Festival-Should we eat the food offerings?

                  
Qing Ming festival is celebrated this year on the 5th April 2006, most people will turn up either 10 days before or after this date. It is a Taoist practice of honoring and remembering our ancestors. Food offerings, joss papers, flowers and incense are offered at the cemetery or at a columbarium as an act of filial piety. 
 

As ancestors worships is a part of Taoism practice, it's essential for a Taoist to visit their deceased ancestors during this festival. It had become a part of a Taoist heritage and tradition to practice this.

As food is offered to the deceased, usually a sumptuous meal is prepared that can span from a main course right up to dessert! It's just too tempting to see the sight of the food, at times we just can't resist taking a morsel of the food after it had been offered to the deceased. At times we just pack it like fast food and take it home to be served later. But the question is should we eat these food offered to the deceased? Will it have an impact on the consumer?

I had personally ask several cultivator of the Taoist sect and also Buddhist practitioners with high level of spiritual cultivations. They personally told me to avoid all foods offered to deceased. These food are not supposed to be consumed by the living. The deceased are of "Yin" energy while the living are "Yang" energy. When food are offered to "Yin" entities their energy are transferred to the food which indirectly when the living consumes it they also take in the "Yin" energy.

What would happen if you take in the "Yin" energy? You would feel agitated, drained of your life force, feel exhausted and worst of all you will encounter some obstacles, i.e. bad luck, misfortunes, etc...

Try this the next time if you have the opportunity, take a sample of the food at home before you send the rest to be offered to the deceased. After the food is being offered taste the food and compare with the sample taken earlier. Is there any difference? Does the offered food now doesn't taste appealing? The sweetness is gone, the aroma had diminished and if you are aware meat offered at times shrunk or lose its freshness and emit a kind of weird odor.

Just ask yourself, would you eat foods which are offered to ghosts or spirits during the Seventh month (hungry ghost festival)? You wouldn't right? Its a taboo not to eat these foods, which are not meant for us.

However if you were to consumed food offered to high ranking Taoist deities, gods, immortals, and buddha's. The food are blessed by their "Yang" energy, you can tell the moment you taste these food. It's always sweet, the aroma is delightful and the smell is always pleasant.

So remember the next time, please leave everything behind. That includes fruits as well!     

 

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Worshipping Tai Sui (太歲) - Friend or Foe?

The Tai Sui (太歲) this year 2006 is "Xiang Ban Xing Jun (向般星君)". The story of Tai Sui is widely spread, there are few version. One claims that he's the god of moon and another he's the warrior god. But the actual account is the god of the year. The Chinese lunar calendar has 60 years in one cycle, its formed by the Heavenly stem and Earthly branch. Therefore there are 60 Tai Sui in the cycle, each one dominates one single year. This is the reason Tai Sui is called the god of the year, every event that occurs during the year is under his jurisdiction.  People respect him highly, and fear to offend him because it would cause misfortunes and bad luck. To avoid offending the Tai Sui of the year, people pacify and enshrine the Tai Sui of the year. This year those born in the year of Dog, Goat and Ox are in conflict with Tai Sui. They will encounter obstructions to all their dealings, in addition to poor health and also safety.

Age that is in conflict with Tai Sui in the year of Dog 2006 (Avoid attending funerals)
Chinese Horoscope  Lunar Year  Gregorian Year  Age (Years)
Goat Yi Wei (乙未) 1955 52
Dragon Jia Chen (甲辰) 1964 43
Ox Gui Chou(癸丑) 1973 34
Dog Ren Xu (壬戌) 1982 25
Dog Ren Xu (壬戌) 1922 85
Goat Xin Wei (辛未) 1991 16
Dragon Geng Chen (庚辰) 2000 07
Dragon Geng Chen (庚辰) 1940 67
Who should pray to Tai Sui?
Dog      : 13,25,37,49,61,73,85 years
Dragon : 19,31,43,55,67,79,91 years
Goat     : 16,28,40,52,64,76,88 years
Ox        : 10,22,34,46,58,70,82 years

Some people had the misconception that Tai Sui can only be worshipped at the beginning of the year, but this is untrue. One can actually pray to Tai Sui any day throughout the year. However there is one exception for these who offend Tai Sui (person born in year of dog) should avoid praying on the San Niang Sha Day (三娘殺日), which falls on the 3rd, 7th, 13th, 18th, 22nd and 27th of each lunar month.

You can pray to Tai Sui in temple's or at home, it is necessary to prepare a set of offering sets (joss paper), incense, candles, fruits (use 5 apples & 5 oranges). When you're praying tell Tai Sui your name, make your wish sincerely for improvement of health, luck, wealth, prosperity, family safety and helpful mentors supports. Offer thanks giving to Tai Sui at the end of the year.   

 

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Worshipping the White Tiger

To avoid calamities and blood shed

 

The White Tiger Deity

In the Chinese lunar calendar, there are 24 divisions to a solar year. The "Awakening of Insects Day" happen to be in the 2nd division following directly after the Spring season. Due to climatic changes from Winter to Spring, thereby awaken insects from their winter sleep. Therefore it is called "Awakening of Insects", Chinese people believes this is the time the "White Tiger" will open its ferocious mouth to feast after a long hibernation during Winter.

This year 2006 (year of the Dog) the "Awakening of Insects" falls on the 6th March 2006 being at 1.30am. Believers will gather at a temple and pray to the Tiger deity with a set of joss paper, incense, candles and food. Offerings include lard, duck eggs, sesame seeds and green beans are also offered to get rid of vile persons gossips.. They will place a small piece of lard into the Tiger deity mouth as a symbolic ritual of appeasing the Tiger deity not to stir up any trouble which includes bloodshed caused by accidents, major surgery, and calamities.

The Tiger deity is a very powerful deity believes that it can confers protections to worshippers and also help them get rid of vile persons, which may be your friends, colleagues or even your subordinate. That may slander, backstab, and giving you a hard time, especially these climbing the corporate ladder this may affect your chance of getting promoted.

Usually a set of joss paper is prepared in advance for worshipping the Tiger deity.

 

                                              

                                          Paper Effigy of a Vile person

It will usually include a paper effigy of a man representing a vile person which are supposed to be hit by a shoe in front of the Tiger deity. They will Chant this while hitting the paper effigy:

Hit your head dead,

Hit till your mouth crooked,

Strike all your limbs till hurt,

Where you come from the East, go running to the West,

Beat till you run off without your shoes on.

After this ritual is complete the entire offering sets are burned and a small paper effigy of a Helpful Mentor or Noble Man, a paper horse and 2 palms or hands are then stuck on the wall in the temple, the higher the better. This signify that you will get help from Helpful Mentor or Noble Man which now elevate you to a higher position after getting rid of the Vile person.

                                               

                                            Helpful Mentor or Noble Man

This is the wall which is located in the temple used for the purpose of placing the Noble Man

Who should pray to the White Tiger Deity?
Horse: 05,17,29,41,53,65,77 years
Dog   : 13,25,37,49,61,73,85 years
Rat    : 11,23,35,47,59,71,83 years
Tiger :  09,21,33,45,57,69,81 years


 

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Burning of Joss paper a Taoist practice?

                                         Burning of Joss Paper

Is the burning of Joss paper a Taoist practice? In Taoism the burning of Joss paper is an important offering, either to Taoist deity, Immortals, Spirits, Ghosts and the deceased. The type of joss paper being offered differs, as higher ranking Taoist deities, Immortals or gods have their own set of joss paper being offered to them. If you are aware the Hell Notes (Money), Rebirth Mantra, and  ancient paper money called Xi Qian is never offered. These are only reserved for ghost and spirits or lower ranking deities. The intention of burning joss paper is to offer sacrifice which are intangible to the spirits realm. When the fire consumes the joss paper Taoist believe that it will materialize in the spirits realm and can be used by them.

In ancient China when an emperor  deceased all his servants are killed and buried together with his personal belongings to be used in the spirits realm. This massacre was found to be inhuman and later replaced with paper as a sacrifice. Nowadays the Taoist communities usually make a replica of a human effigy made out of paper to represent the servant to serve the deceased.

You may even see the latest model of cell phones, credit cards, cars, boats, DVD player, houses, I-Pod and even airplanes! Made of paper that are burned during the funeral.  

 

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Ba Zi / Four Pillars of Destiny Analysis of Michael Jackson

 

Hour Day Month Year
                  ?            庚

?

Yang Metal

Yang Metal

Yang Earth

?

?

Yang Wood

Yang Metal

Yang Earth

 

Stem

   Yin    Metal

Yang Water

Yin Water

Yang Wood

Yin  Wood

  Yang   Fire

     Yin      Fire

Yang Earth

  Yin    Wood

Branch
   Yin    Metal Yang Earth Yin Water Yang Water Yin   Earth Yang Wood Yin  Wood Yang Earth     Yin      Fire
Age 3-12 13-22 23-32 33-42 43-52 53-62 63-72 73-82 83-92
Year 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011 2021 2031 2041

 

 Age 3-12

Yin Metal
Yin Metal

Michael Jackson was born on the 29th August 1958 in Gary, Indiana, one of the nine children. Michael began singing with his parents and four other brothers as “The Jackson Family” before the boys went out on their own as “The Jackson Five”. He was in the clutches of poverty, and unhappiness as he have a very difficult childhood as the luck pillar for the age 3-12 consists of the unfavourable element Metal. His lucky element is Fire and second lucky element is Earth. 

 

Age 23-32
Yin Water
Yin Water

Although when Michael was in the unfavourable luck pillar of age 23-32 (Water). He still achieved tremendous success as in the advanced theory the Heavenly Stem luck pillar for age 23-32 when combined with the Heavenly Stem of the Day pillar the resultant element is Fire. Michael most favourable element, while also taking account into the Earthly Branches when combined with the Day pillar Earthly Branches  changes into Wood. Bear in mind that based on the Five element theory when the Metal element conquer Wood element it represents Wealth to a Metal person. Therefore this luck pillar of age 23-32 is most prosperous and favourable.

 

 

 癸       +           戊 = Fire
Yin Water             Yang Earth
Luck Pillar 23-32   Year Pillar  Heavenly Stem     Heavenly Stem

 

 寅       +      亥 = Wood

Yang Wood      Yin Water
Day Pillar       Luck Pillar 23-32 Earthly          Earthly Branch          Branch

Based on the theory of the Five Elements. Wood element would further enhance or increase the Fire element. Thus increasing Michael lucky element Fire. This would have a huge impact towards his success.

Year 1983

Yin Wood
Yin Wood

Therefore the resultant elements after combining the Luck Pillar does change into the favourable element, Michael achievement are indeed indicated in the Luck Pillar as his fame sky rocketed to incredible heights with the wildly successful "Thriller" album in the year 1983. As also indicated the year 1983 is also the favourable element as indicated both are Wood element.

 

  

In terms of wealth as indicated in the Luck Pillar of Age 23-32 there is abundant water, as Water element to an Earth person represents Wealth, consider this hypothesis as Michael was at the age of 25 in the year 1983, Michael pocketed a total of $32 million on US Sales alone. By late 1983 not counting an extra's 15 million on foreign sales, at least $2 million in publishing royalty for the four songs he wrote on the album "Thriller". Ultimately Michael's total take from "Thriller" would top $130 million !

 

Lets consider another historical event that happened to Michael in 1984 when his hair went up in flames during the making of Pepsi commercial below is the relevant pillars relating to this unfortunate event. I had converted the hour, day, month and year into each individual pillars for analysis.

Hour Day Month Year
Yin Wood Yang Metal Yin Wood Yin Water
Yin Metal Yang Metal Yin Earth Yin Water

The event happened on the 27th January 1984 @ 6.00pm Friday. As below there is a clash between the Day Pillar Earthly Branch.

Day                       Day
戊                        庚
Yang Earth                 Yang Metal
寅 <---------------->申
Yang Wood                Yang Metal
Day Pillar                    Day Pillar
29/08/1958                27/01/1984

As the clash is only indicated or threatening the Yang Wood (寅) element by Yang Metal (申). This clash is not serious to the extent of causing grievous hurt or death as the clash is only indicated in the Day Pillar only. The prediction is bizarre and accurate as the head is inflicted as in the advanced theory when Metal (申) threatened Wood (寅), it represents the head while Water element appearing on the year pillar (癸亥),1984 tends to generate Wood and Wood in turn generate Fire. Indeed on that unfortunate day Michael hair went up in flame and he was treated for minor burn.

 

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What is the Five Ghosts Transfer Wealth Technique?

In Feng Shui some of you may have heard of it, "The Five Ghosts Transportation Wealth Technique" it's actually a Feng Shui secret technique to enhance your wealth and good fortune. Most Feng Shui practitioners know how to use these theories to enhance their wealth.

In religious Taoism, we also have the "Five Ghosts Transportation Wealth Technique" also called "Five Ghosts moving treasure". It's a secret dharma from Taoist lineage, it had the ability to make a practitioner very wealthy by practicing this secret dharma. However to practice this secret dharma there are several criteria that needs to be fulfilled before anyone can practice it.

Firstly the date of birth of the practitioner is evaluated to see if he has an affinity with the Five Ghosts, there is an elaborate chart that we need to consult to determine this. Only these with affinity with the Five Ghosts can practice this secret dharma otherwise it will not work.

Next a set of rituals need to be perform, practitioners need to follow all procedures and must have the perseverance to practice it consistently for 49 days. If any of the steps in the procedures are omitted you will need to restart the entire rituals again. It may seems very tedious but the rewards gained after the 49 days rituals is very lucrative and rewarding.

What I am revealing to you now is a guarded secret of most Taoist practitioners, which most are reluctant to revealed it. However for the benefits of readers here I shall make it an exception. As I get a lot of people writing to me with this situation, and perhaps this applies to someone you know. They're are constantly encountering a lot of problems in life, which is usually a lack of money. That in turn will cause them further problems and destroyed their mental peace.

In religious Taoism, as you are aware form a part of China’s heritage and traditions incorporating Buddhism, Confucianism, folk’s belief and Shamanism. Ancestor's and Spirits worshipped are practice. This secret dharma actually beseech the retinue of Five Ghosts to assist the practitioners to gain enormous wealth and fortune. Practitioners well versed in this art are mostly wealthy and successful. As the Five Ghosts actually delivers wealth spiritually to the practitioners and indirectly enhancing the chance of the practitioners in gaining material wealth! This happens by enhancing the practitioners luck and affinity with people around him. If the practitioner is a merchant or business person he would be able to generate more revenue with their help. And at times if he were to gamble he would have a sudden windfall. The practitioner will never run out of Cash! Whenever his cash is running out the Five Ghosts will then deliver wealth to him.

It's quite unbelievable especially to most skeptics, but I had personally know an acquaintance practicing this dharma and I can attest that he's filthy rich! He just seems to have the Midas touch, whatever he invest he would make good returns while others will lose. Most people will start looking for a cure using some alternative means i.e. feng Shui, astrology, numerology and some spiritual means that will somehow miraculously solve their financial problems.

Whether the problem anyone experiences in life is due to actions performed in THIS life or from a Past life, the point is that the troubles are YOUR karma and you have to solve them or work through them. At times no matter whatever means you try be it spiritual, etc...nothing can change them and you must simply bear them as long as is necessary until the time changes and they transform themselves. A life free of problems, troubles, difficulties or challenges is impossible. So it all comes down to KARMA. This is the reason why I always ask people to perform meritorious deeds no matter how small, when accumulated it would be a great field of blessings.

NOTE: Before I start let me clarify that viewers discretion is advice as some people may find it disturbing, if you do please leave my website immediately. I had deliberately omitted some of the procedures, mantra's and mudra's. For these interested it's all covered in my book, THE SECRET TO THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF TAOIST MAGIC, ISBN 983-3206-02-6 available SOON on the www.taoistsecret.com website.      

The Five Ghosts originally are spirits from the Five directions each representing the five elements namely; North (Water element), South (Fire element), East (Wood element), Center (Earth element), West (Metal element). Some practitioners even claimed that the Five Ghosts are the denizen of Hades. On another account some practitioners claimed that the Five Ghosts are not human souls, they are the souls of five types of animal i.e. cow, goat, pig, dog and donkey. They claimed the so-called Five Ghosts moving treasure is actually using the spirits of five types of animal to move the treasure. I'll show you some essential Talismans that are needed to be used to practice the Five Ghost Transfer Wealth Technique.

 

        The Five Talismans which are used during the rituals to practice the Five Ghosts Transfer Wealth

The Five Ghosts Paper Effigy

                 The Five Ghosts Paper effigy which is drawn and then placed on altar for worship

The Five Ghosts Altar

                                                           The Five Ghosts Altar

The Talisman below enables the Five Ghosts to locate the Practitioners Home and transfer Wealth there.   

An altar is set up as in the illustration above the Five Ghosts are drawn on a piece of white paper and then placed on the altar on five bowl of uncooked rice as in the arrangement above. The practitioner then cut some finger nails (male left hand & female right hand); place it in the 5 bowl of rice directly on top. Some hairs from the practitioner head is also place into the five bowl of rice. And lastly the practitioner needs to write his date of birth and hour of birth on 5 small piece of red paper. Each paper is then placed into the 5 bowl of uncooked rice.

Meats are to be offered daily at night after 11.00pm consists of duck, chicken, pork, fish and wine. A pair of white candle is only lighted when the offering are made. Prepare a set of Joss paper that consists of the gold ingots and silver ingots. Light 5 incense and place it into an incense censer. Make sure the incense censer had one piece of the talisman stuck there, this is to control or protect the altar. Next form the mudra and chant the mantra, state your wish and then burn the sets of joss paper. Finally pour the 5 cup of wine on top of the burned remains of the joss paper. You have then completed the rituals, need to consistently practice it for 49 days.

And on the last day of the 49th night put all the 5 paper effigy into a basin together with the joss paper, take out your finger nails, hairs and the paper with your date of birth and time. Then burn everything together. Once you have done this the 5 Ghosts would be able to assists you for the rest of your life, as they are now merged or attached to you.

And lastly write your name, date of birth, time of birth and address on the talisman above, then stick this talisman above your main entrance. This would enable the Five Ghosts to identify your home and then consistently transfer wealth to you.

Remember to offer the set of Joss paper every month on the 2nd day and the 16th day of the Chinese lunar calendar. This is the Five Ghosts Payroll day! This will keep them working for you!

 

For these interested it's all covered in my book, THE SECRET TO THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF TAOIST MAGIC, ISBN 983-3206-02-6 available SOON on www.taoistsecret.com website. 

THE FIVE GHOSTS TRANSFER WEALTH PRACTICES, ISBN 983-3206-11-5

by Wilson Yong now available in PDF format. Printable version.        

 

 

 

 

The Taoist Dharma of Opening the Third Eye to see Ghosts

In the past I had received a lot of emails and enquiries asking me if there is a possibility of seeing ghosts. I do occasionally hear a lot weird or unheard of practice that is used to see ghost, some of these are wittingly humorous. As listed below:

 

1)      Putting animal tears into their eyes. As they believed dogs could see ghosts! Please refrain from doing this its unhygienic and you may get your eye infected instead.

      2)      Placing a pail of soil above your head while you catch a glimpse to see them.

3)      Using a chop stick to hit a bowl during the night at a deserted alley, believed that it would attract hungry ghost. And if you are lucky enough you may see them. 

4)      Playing hides and seeks during the night, and hopefully you will bump into some unexpected guest that may have joined you instead. 

5)      Playing with the Ouija board at night and hopefully or deliberately some player might slip their hand from the board to release any spiritual entity. 

6)      Cruising haunted house, or places which are well known to have paranormal activities. 

7)      Visiting places where a suicide was committed or a venue where, there are a history of unnatural death.  

Why would any sane person do these?  Either you are curious or you really have the guts!

In Taoism there is actually a secret dharma to open your third eye to enable you to see ghosts. However be warned that once it’s open there is no way you can closed it back later.

This secret dharma is used by Taoist practitioner to see these entity, so that they can render help to deliver them from sufferings or used widely to see if any attached entity is clinging to anyone.

We usually draw a special talisman that are burned and place into a bowl of water, next a mantra is recited and the water are drunk and a small amount is applied on the eye. Once this is done your vision would get a bit blur then gradually you will then see these entity.

This is not to be used casually as it’s actually very risky especially these whom are frightened of ghosts you may end up having psychological problems if you can’t accept them.

The above is the talisman used to open the third eye.

For these interested the full detail's are all covered in my book, THE SECRET TO THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF TAOIST MAGIC, ISBN 983-3206-02-6 available SOON on  www.taoistsecret.com website.     

 

Taoist Magic used to win in Gambling?


It makes a destitute a rich man all of a sudden without any toll and in the next moment reduces a rich man to a destitute. Gambling is a double edge sword it works both ways. Gambling sows the seeds of disputes and quarrels among the gamblers which ultimately assume the shape of enmity and hatred among them. I do not advocate or condone any form of gambling. Can Taoist Magic be used to win in gambling? Yes, in fact there are few secret dharma that are used by compulsive gamblers to win. I will now exposed one of the following by just using a special talismans that invoked the Five Ghosts. The talisman is drawn on a white piece of paper, with cinnabar (a mercury substances) in red. Then the five ghost is invoked to empower the talisman.

The talisman is then folded into a rectangular and then place in the upper left pocket on his shirt. He needs only mentally recite, "Five ghost, Five Ghost, help me win!". When gambling he need to place his left hand on his shirt pocket touching the talisman. He can only use it for three times, after that he will have to stop gambling. As the talisman will lose its potency after winning for three times in a row.

Although this type of practice is unorthodox and inappropriate a lot of gamblers do use it. So the next time if you gamble and see anyone holding his hand on his shirt pocket beware as he's actually using this secret dharma.

An exposed of Taoist Magic used for Gambling is covered in my book, THE SECRET TO THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF TAOIST MAGIC, ISBN 983-3206-02-6 available SOON on  www.taoistsecret.com website.     

 

 

The Hungry Ghosts Festival

The seventh month of the Chinese lunar month holds an important festival for the Taoist and Buddhist communities; deliverance of spirits or ghosts. It is believed during this month the gates of hades are open for a month to enable these spirits and ghosts to seek salvations.

This practice was originally a religious ceremony back then for Buddhist called Ullambana or Yu Lan festival but later took on culturally Chinese overtones. In the Ullambana Sutra, there is a well descriptive account of a well-to-do merchant who eventually gives up his trade to become a Buddhist monk. He became one of the Buddha's chief disciples. His name was Mahāmaudgalyāyana. (Ch. 目連, Mulian, Pāli Mahāmoggallāna)

Celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. Buddhist would hold ceremonies to commemorate their loved ones and ancestors due to filial piety and it became popular in most Chinese regions.

 

Mahāmaudgalyāyana Saves His Mother From Hell

After he attained the position of arhat, he thought of his father and mother, and wonders what happens to them. With his clairvoyant power he saw his father in heaven.

However, his mother was reborn in a lower realm, known as the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. His mother took on the form of a hungry ghost---it could not eat because its throat was very thin (just like a tiny hole made with a needle) and no food could pass through, yet it was always hungry because it had a huge belly. His mother was attached with the money he left her. He had instructed her to kindly host any Buddhist monks that ever came her way, but instead she withheld her kindness and her money. It was for this reason she was reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts.

Mahāmaudgalyāyana eventually saves her from this plight by entreating the help of the Buddha. This is how the relevance of the Ghost Festival and ancestor worship originate.

The Buddha established a day after the traditional summer retreat (the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar--usually mid-to-late August) as a day of prayer and offering in which monks can pray and make sacrifices on behalf of dead ancestors or hungry ghosts. The family members of the deceased essentially pay for this service, by setting up memorial plaques with the names of the deceased and thus their patronage is a form of charity. The deceased ancestors are pacified and hungry ghosts can eat (the sacrificial foods) after an elaborate ritual is performed.

The story ends with this festival and the rescue of his mother from hell. She ended up being reborn as a dog, but as a pet in a well-off household.

Today, the exact same ritual that the Buddha asked for Mahāmaudgalyāyana to do is well practiced in many parts of Asia. The day of offering foods or alms to monks is called "Sangha Day", celebrated in many Buddhist temples. It marks the first day of the Ghost Festival.

Lord Buddha then expounded the Ullambana Sutra.

China followed the custom since the Liang Dynasty (502-557 A.D.) and it was evolved into the present Zhongyuan Festival. In addition to the fast provided for the monks, the present festival has special sacrificial ceremonies.

When the festival sets in, a sacrificial altar and a raised platform are built for the Buddhist or Taoist priest either at street entrances or in front of villages. A paper effigy of the statue of the Ghost King is placed at the altar together with our hades deities i.e. the Ox head and Horse head general, the White and Black official. Together with a paper replica of a fleet of ship and a horse.

Why is the Ghost King paper effigy invoked? He's there to control these ghosts or spirits. Imagine unlimited numbers of starving refugees storming in to get hold of a morsel of food. Wouldn't that be chaotic? He is there to maintain order and ensure every souls get a share of the foods and offerings. People believed that by offering prayers to the Ghost King they are protected from any harm, accidents, spirits or ghosts and mishaps throughout the entire year.

 

The paper effigy of the Ghost King and his retinue of officials from Hades

Offerings which are placed for the Ghost King and his officials. Includes gambling paraphernalia!

An effigy of a paper ship as a mean of transport to the spiritual realms

A paper horse effigy a representation of the Horse Spirits

Offerings are elegantly laid out arranged like a huge mountain

More foods are being offered on the altar

Under the platform are plates of flour made replica peaches and other foods. On the sacrificial altar are spirit tablets and banners. After noon, pigs, sheep, chicken, geese and cakes, fruits of all kinds donated by households are displayed on the altar.

When the rite gets started in solemn music, the priest will strike the bell to invoke the souls, other priests singing chimes of incantations. Then he will throw the rice and peaches into the air in all directions to distribute them to the souls.

Memorial tablets set up for the deceased

At night, incense is burnt in front of the door of each household. The more incense, the better, for the amount of incense stands for the degree of prosperity. In some places, people flow water lanterns. Such lanterns are made by setting a lotus flower-shaped lantern on a piece of board. According to the Chinese tradition, the lanterns are used to direct the ghosts. Ghosts find their way back when the lanterns are out. On the festival, all shops are closed to leave the street to the ghosts. In the middle of each street, offerings of incense are placed with fresh fruits and sacrifices.

The festivals ends on the completion of the rituals of offering foods to the Hungry ghosts or spirits and merits are dedicated to them to alleviate their sufferings. The effigy of the Ghost King together with his retinue of officials are gather together with joss paper and burned during midnight to send them back to hades.

The effigy of the paper Ghost King relocated to an open ground

Fire are ignited to sent the Ghost King back to Hades

Fire beginning to burn fiercely

A silhouette of the Ghost King

It’s a lively festivals that most people looks forward to especially the Chinese communities as this are the best time the can get together with friends and relatives strengthening their relationships by organizing this event. As a lot of support and coordination are needed to organize this event once a year. An exquisite dinner is held after the events for the committee members.

Well wishers are donating money to support this event by auctioning products which are auspicious to get donations from the public. Funds are gathered to pay priests to conducts prayers, buying offerings of food, josspaper, paper effigy of Ghost Kings and his retinue of officials and lastly to pay for the stage performance by entertainers. In the past Chinese operas are staged during this event however nowadays due to the escalating cost involved in hiring Chinese operas troupe it had now being replaced by singers belting modern songs.      

An interesting event in asia that are not to be missed.

 

 

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