There’s a Buddhist festival that celebrates and welcomes spirits to the world of the living.
China is home to one of the most brutal animal practices in the world, but being one of the largest Buddhist-dominated states, it’s also home to some of the religion’s most revered festivals. One such custom is the Hungry Ghost Festival, where Chinese villagers believe that the ghosts of the ancestors may be granted permission to return to the world of the living at a certain time of the year, hungry and ready to take what they can from there, if these spirits had not been given sufficient offerings by their living relatives.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of monastic ascerticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community. Here are some images from the festival:
(Cover Image via: Getty)