DO’s and DONT’s During Hungry Ghost Festival

Spiritual thing is an unexplained object. Do you believe in ghosts? I have asked a lot of people about the belief in ghosts or spiritual things, most of the feedback I received were “I believe half-half”. I find this answer very strange. Either we choose to believe it fully or we don’t believe it at all. There is no such thing as half-half.

This month is the Chinese Lunar 7th month and it is also known as “The Hungry Ghost Month”. As legend believes during this month all the spiritual “things” will be let lose and free to walk in our world. Therefore, the percentage of bumping into them is higher. In this post I am going to share with you all the DOs and DONTs during this month and also some pictures of the celebration. For those who want to overcome “spiritual” meets and also for those that don’t believe precaution is better than cure, this will be a good guideline.

Avoiding standing under the tree or under the bus stop during night time.
Usually it is dark and cold under the tree shade and bus stop. It is believed that these “things” will usually rest under that kind of condition. If you are “good” luck that day, it will follow you back home.

Manicure, do not use dark or black color
Ladies, if you love paiting your nails and frequently visit the manicure center, please choose light colour coat for your nails during this period. this is because only dead people will have dark-coloured nails. If you have that color they might think that you are one of them.


Do not step or kick the praying items and temporary altar by the roadside. 
During the Lunar 7th month, there will be a lot of praying items and temporary altars placed by the roadside and these are all meant for the “thing”. If you accidentally stepped on them, it is better that you apologise to them. Else if you get them angry I am not sure what they can do.

Do not place your kid on the altar/offering table when visiting or praying to these sites.
As there was a case where a mother took her child to this event, the kid’s shoe dropped while the mother was handling some offerings. The mother placed the kid on the altar to pick up the shoe from the floor. After she got the shoe, the whole kid had turned into blank color and passed away.

I have been reading articles and also hearing my friends talking about Malaysia’s tallest 大士爷 (Leader of All The Hungry Ghost). It is located at Bukit Mertajam market area. I have always wanted to pay a visit but had no chance until last Saturday. I was lost in getting to the exact place until I called a friend for guidance. It tooks me additional 1/2 hour to get to the place. Anyway, I am so glad when I managed to arrive to the destination.

The tallest hungry ghost leader is located next to a very old Chinese temple. In front of the temple there are Chinese opera stages setup for this festival.

This is the front entrance of the old-aged temple. However, the temple is so well-maintained where the colour of the dragon carvings still looks new on the pillar.

The stalls which sell various offerings look exactly like the one at Goddess of Mercy temple in Penang Island. 

The view inside the temple.

There is a Chinese ancient hat and also a wooden puppet placed on the main altar.

The wooden puppet looks like a kid where there are some cash notes in his pocket. I think by praying to this kid, he will bring prosperity to you.

Another one is the Chinese ancient hat, this hat is the one usually worn by the champion scholar back in Chinese history. Therefore, this will help those preparing for exam.

Just beside the temple, we can see the Malaysia tallest 大士爷 (Leader of All The Hungry Ghost). Even it was afternoon time at 3pm there were still so many believers praying to the god.

There are a lot of people hoping to place their large (龙香) dragon joss sticks here as it is believed that by doing so they believe their business will gett better. Only those joss sticks of standard height can be placed here and everyday the temple only allows 200 dragon joss sticks to be placed. A lot of people have booked for a slot since several months ago.

Check out the urn and also the candle holders here. They are fully loaded and the temple helpers will have to clear up every now and then to make way for later ones.

The Chinese writing of “好兄弟公”(Good brothers) is actually referring to that “thing”. 

The offerings presented by the believers.

This is only the beginning, there are more to come later at night. 

This is the tallest 大士爷 (Leader of All The Hungry Ghost) in Malaysia. The purpose of building this hungry ghost leader is to take care and monitor of all the hungry ghosts there so that they will not bother with the people when they did their offering. This hungry ghost leader is made of paper and will be burnt off at the end of the 7th month.

The paper offerings and hell notes that will be burnt together with the hungry ghost leader.

The shops nearby the main altar are required to stop for business for the whole month as this is a requirement.

This uncle will ring the bell when you made a donation. This is to let the people and also the “thing” knows that you have made some offering.

The tallest hungry ghost leader will be burnt in front of this store every year.

One of the KFC outlets in the old town of Bukit Mertajam.

5 thoughts on “DO’s and DONT’s During Hungry Ghost Festival”

  1. cazzycazz, that will only apply in Penang. KL the spirit is not that effective because it’s too hectic and stressful there where the “thing” had all run away.

    bb community, I believe is true also about this story. I had confirmed with my friend that live in Bukit Mertajam as well and she said there was such an incident.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *