Hungry Ghost Festival
The Chinese believe that on the 7th lunar month of each year, spirits of the deceased return to the human realm for a month. The seventh month is sometimes referred to as the ghost month, and the festival is commonly known as the 芒鈧揾ungry ghost festival芒鈧?
Many people avoid important events during the 7th month. Activities to avoid include moving to new homes, weddings, and opening ceremony of new businesses.
Ullambana, Yulan Jie.
The hungry ghost month is known to the Buddhist as the Ullambana, Yulan Jie,. The background story told of the Maudgalyayana (Mu Lian), a disciple of the Buddha, who attempted to help his mother who was reborn into the realm of the hungry ghost. The Buddha instructed Maudgalyayana to perform acts of merit and to transfer the merits to his mother.
Following the Buddha芒鈧劉s advise, Maudgalyayana managed to transfer merit to his mother and to help her reborn into the human realm.
During Yulan Pen Jie,Buddhist offer prayers to deceased ancestors and wandering spirits to help them in their rebirth in higher realms. There are also prayer sessions in monasteries to pray and to dedicate merit to wandering spirits.