Kuala Lumpur: Hungry Ghosts or Phor Thor festival, the Chinese equivalent of Halloween, is still celebrated in great scale by the Chinese in Penang in the month of August - the seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
It is that time of the year when believers are busy appeasing the hungry spirits who they believe are let out by the ‘Gates of Hell’, through ritual food offerings, burning of joss paper, and stage shows.
This year, the Ghost Month is from July 31 to Aug 28, with the Ghost Festival falling on Aug 14.
According to Taoist ghostbuster Ong Q Leng, spirits are at their most powerful during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar but those released from the gates of hell are not harmful.
“The harmful ones are the restless spirits that roam the earth freely throughout the year,” the Star Online quoted Ong, who claims to have seen them all from office hauntings to eerie bodily possessions, as saying.
The 34-year-old spiritual healer shares some advice with those low on luck during this festival.
“Do not wear red this Hungry Ghost Festival. The spirits are drawn to red, so avoid anything red, including underwear. This is especially so if things have not been going smoothly for you these past few months.”
She also warns believers against going out past 9pm.
“Stay away from drugs and alcohol because it`s easier for spirits to take over those who are intoxicated. If you are always alert, it`s also difficult for people to cast a spell or charm you,” she added.