Ghost money, orphan ghosts, and hungry ghosts are all part of The Feast of Hungry Ghosts celebrated on September 6th every year by Singaporean Chinese. They believe that the souls of the dead roam the earth in the month of September. On the sixth, people offer gifts to the spirits of their ancestors and for "orphan ghosts" who have no one to care for them.

Gifts are usually food, clothes, and fake paper money called "ghost money". The Singaporean Chinese believe that if this money is burned, the ghost spirits will get the "ghost" of the money. Food and clothes that are offered can be taken from the altar at a later date so that the spirits can have the "ghosts" of the food and clothing.


I once had dinner at a friend's house whose parents practice this holiday. They didn't have any dessert prepared so my friend's mom told him to get some pears from another room. I was confused since I knew that these were offered for his grandfather's spirit, but he explained that since his grandfather was a ghost, he could eat the ghost of the pears.

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