Things to do at Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival

The Hungry Ghost Festival takes place in multiple Asian nations and is usually associated with Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. As per the Chinese calendar, it takes place traditionally on the 15th night of the 7th month which is sometimes called Chinese Ghost Month. 

Throughout this month, it is usually believed that the spirits of deceased relatives and friends return from Heaven and Hell while visiting their descendants who are living. The latter pay their respects in a bid to absolve any suffering that might be plaguing the deceased owing to their actions in their lifetime. 

Activities held include burning incense and joss paper and also offering food. The deceased are perceived as still living in this period and special meals are cooked with places set at the table for them in their respective households. The food is usually vegetarian at the Hungry Ghost Festival. 

Several items are often recreated through paper-mache and then burnt as an offering for the spirits. Paper boats are released along with floating lanterns to enable spirits to use them as guides.

Singapore hungry ghost festival Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival

Hungry Ghost Festival 2023 Singapore

The festival is one of the key landmarks on Singapore’s calendar and is accompanied by several events and performances. Picture Halloween in the U.S. and you can experience something similar here in Singapore. 

The island follows a tradition where spirits are appeased with offerings during the rituals. The ritualistic offerings are more under control in keeping with Singapore’s status as one of the tidiest global cities. There are big metal bins distributed across the streets in the period leading to the festival. They are designed especially for burning paper-based offerings without creating any mess. 

You will find food left in several places in Singapore. Some dishes may even be left hanging on trees or at the foot of trees for instance. The concerts make it more enjoyable for visitors. The concept behind this is that the spirits will like settling down for a good performance after having their fill of delicious offerings. 

Several big tents come up along residential localities like Any Mo Kio and Yishun along with tourist spots. Enjoy vibrant dinners and entertainment options galore. The traditional form encompasses an extensive Chinese opera with legends of gods, goddesses and battles going beyond this realm.

The entertainment part of the celebrations is also called Getai. Other attractions include singers, dancers, and stand-up comedy shows. Just remember not to take anybody’s seat. 

Some parts of Singapore witness more contemporary celebrations with big stages, LED lighting, lasers, DJ performances and modern Mandarin pop concerts. 

Also Read: Singapore Covid-19 Travel Restrictions & Guidelines

Key Dates for the Hungry Ghost Festival 2023

The "Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival," a traditional Taoist and Buddhist celebration, is held in Singapore and other Asian countries. The 2023 Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore will take place on the following dates:

  • The Ghost Month will be from 16th August to 14th September as per the latest reports.
  • Hence, the starting date is 16th August 2023, while 14th September 2023, is the concluding date.
  • Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival will fall on 30th August 2023 (Wednesday) this year. It is Zhong Yuan Jie, when joss paper is burnt and used to feed hungry spirits. This 15th lunar day is highly important in the context of the celebrations.

Please Note- It is important to bear in mind that the lunar calendar might cause these dates to slightly change, thus it is recommended to check with local sources for the exact festival dates and details for Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival.

If you are seeking a short term stay in Singapore then has a vast range of options throughout the city. Want to be right at the heart of the Singapore Hungry Ghost Festival celebrations? Want to watch the colourful proceedings from your apartment rooftop? You will find something suitable to all your needs in Singapore, courtesy of our vast range of options. 

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