The “Seventh Lunar Month Dinner” organised by the Sin Hock Hin Society on 23 August, 2017 at 7.30 pm at the open space and playground at Guan Chuan Street in Tiong Bahru.
Although the location for the dinner was surrounded by the flats, the residents (many of whom also attended the dinner) are understanding and did not complain to the organising committee.
Many decades ago, the Tiong Bahru housing estate was developed by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) in 1936, some parts of the village were swampy ground for the planting of taro. 109 years ago, the villagers formed the Sin Hock Hin Society to organise the 7th Lunar Month festival (also known as the ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’ or the “Festival for the Wandering Souls” (Zhong Yuan Jie 中元节 in Chinese) every year.
The censer or incense burner used for the first time 109 years ago, it is kept safely and carefully by the Sin Hock Hin Society to use today.
Educational tour by Kelvin Ang, Jeffrey Eng and Tiong Bahru Heritage Volunteers
Reserved tables for friends of Kelvin Ang
Kelvin Ang chatted with Jeffrey Eng before the dinner started. They are the pioneers and guide leaders of the Tiong Bahru Heritage Volunteer group.
Unlicensed waiter serving to the friends
Favorite dishes for tasting experiences
Auction for Good Luck & Blessings
The famous golden hen filled with donations of blessings from all attending the dinner.
Toasting with Ms Indranee Rajah, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC – Tiong Bahru
More about the ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’
This year, the ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’ starts on August 22 and end on September 19, 2017.
It is believed that the gates of the netherworld are opened during this time for spirits to roam the living world.
Taboos to Follow:
1.Avoid swimming during the 7th month. It is believed that those previously drowned evil ghost might cause you to drown in
the swimming pool. Such ghost need to find victims in order for them to be go for rebirth.
2. Children and young adults are also advised to return home early and not to wander around alone at night. This belief is due to the reason that the wandering ghosts can possess children easily.
3. Avoid moving into new homes and opening new businesses this month as it is considered inauspicious and bad luck on new ventures.
4. Avoid getting married during this month because couples will have bad ending. Some bad ghost may cast a bad spell on couples during their wedding.
5. Avoid going for jungle trekking and going on camping trips as chances of injuries, possession and death are high.
6. Drive very carefully during this month to avoid accidents, as there may be many wandering spirits who died of accidents
previously that are searching for next victims so that they could be reincarnated.
7. Protect your entrances with the genuine. Peachwood Sword. This is the most excellent protector of ghost and evil spirits, claimed by many of our customers. Alternatively one may also choose to use the Seven Stars Sword of Chung Kwei.
8. Avoid starting any construction work or engaging in renovation repairs at home such as fixing a tile or banging the floor and wall for the entire month.
9. Avoid spitting and blowing your nose in the street or at any tree/plant.
10. Do not leave open wounds unattended as this will attract ghosts in following you home. Keep them plastered at all times.
11. Do not make negative comments or crack jokes about offering items in the streets or poke fun about chinese opera seen with empty chairs of chinese communities. Those chairs are for the ghosts.
12. Do not pick up anything including money found on the street and never bring it home.
13. Avoid getting emotional and crying in the middle of the night. A weak, sad and emotional mind gives ghosts the
opportunity to possess you and harm you.
14. Do not whistle after the sun set. This will attract the attention of ghosts that may stick to you for a long time giving your a spate of long term bad luck.
[Acknowledged with thanks to Lina Koh, Kelvin Ang and Jeffrey Eng for sharing the memorable photos on this blog].