2008-10-31

Hungry Ghosts

Halloween is absolutely my most favorite holiday ever { even though some will dispute that it is not a holiday at all }, I love everything about it....from decorations, costumes, candy, spirits and of course the history behind it. This year is the first year that I am not going to be able to do too much, so I thought I'd pacify myself with some good old fashioned ghost stories and also read about the Chinese traditions for the "holiday" as well.

My favorite site that I found in my travels is called Lost Laowai , it's actually a blog that I will continue to follow after Halloween is over. I really enjoyed their Chinese Halloween Vocab and learned some great things to teach the kids in the upcoming years! Some words of note {the pīnyīn versions } :
  • wànshèngjié kuàilè // Happy Halloween
  • guǐjì huòzhě tángguǒ // trick or treat
  • xīxiěguǐ //vampire
  • guǐgùshì //ghost story
  • hēimāo //black cat
*if you would like to see the full list, go here: http://www.lostlaowai.com/chinese-halloween-vocab

The two Halloween festivals celebrated in China are Teng Chieh and Yue Lan { or The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts}, although Halloween itself is more like a money making and party throwing event there rather then a true recognized Holiday. The Yue Lan festival is celebrated a few weeks before Halloween and it is tradition to not only have picnics at the graves of loved ones lost, but also to burn paper versions of items they used when they were living, and also gifts from today that they may have liked {even ipods? }. Teng Cheih is a bit similar, as it involves the spirits of our loved ones. Instead of going to their grave, they place food and water infront of their photos as well as lighting bonfires and lanterns to light the way for the spirits to find their way back to earth. Nury Vittachi , a cultural commentator in Hong Kong, is quoted as saying,

Ghosts are very big in Asian culture and there is a deeper understanding and interest in their place in society. You can have a relationship with them, you can make friends with them. In the West, ghosts are nearly always bad things, but here they are on your side.



Websites of reference

Also, during my search I found a few notable sites for Halloween as well

One of my own Halloween traditions that I am able to follow this year will be watching The Crow, probably one of the best movies I have ever seen! I have always and forever been a fan of Brandon Lee and I blame him for planting the seed for my love of all things asian :) The Crow was actually filmed in my hometown of Wilmington, NC, and Brandon tragically died there as well { in the same hospital I was born infact!}.







I will leave you a classic ghost story that has been retold a million times through the years called Late Night Ride, Happy Halloween everyone!

Late Night Ride

Jerry was driving home late one night when he saw a young lady waiting by a bus stop. He stopped his car and told her that he didn't think the buses were running so late at night and offered her a ride. The fall night air was getting chilly, so he took off his jacket and gave it to her. Jerry found out that the girl's name was Mary and she was on her way home.

After an hours drive, they arrived at her home and he dropped her off by the front door. Jerry said goodnight and went home himself.

The next day he remembered that Mary still had his jacket.

He drove to her house and knocked on the door, an old woman answered.
John told her about the ride he had given her daughter Mary, and had come back to get the jacket he had lent her. The old woman looked very confused.

John noticed a picture of Mary on the fireplace mantel. He pointed to it and told the old woman that that was the girl he had given a ride to.

With her voice shaking, the old woman told Jerry that her daughter had been dead for many years and was buried in a cemetery about an hours drive away from there.
Jerry ran to his car and drove to the cemetery....

He found his jacket, neatly folded on top of a grave...the name on the gravestone was Mary!

3 comments:

Lyn said...

interesting entry you've got there... and i love the layout of your blog. keep writing. :)

kirin said...

Hi, Kirin here!
Thanks for your visit and sweet comment at the shoutbox.
Moreover, I appreciate that you put 125x125 banner of my blog in your blog. I'll put a link to yours!

It sounds so fun to raise twins in multi-cultural background.
You also seem to enjoy Japanese foods, so you may find some interesting posts from my blog.
(I have to add new posts...)

Anyway, thank you so much, and happy blogging!

Ryan said...

Cheers for the Lost Laowai shoutout. The Crow is one of my all-time favs as well. Rockin' soundtrack as well.