Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Good Brothers

By the lunar calendar, today is the middle of Ghost Month (the month where ghosts get to take a break from hell, stretch their legs, eat something, and what not). During Ghost Month you aren't supposed to say "ghost," instead people say "Hao Shong Di," or "good brothers."

Lots of storefronts have little altars piled with food - instant noodles, litre sodas, fruit, crackers - and incense burning, all for the ghosts to eat. Some people don't eat the food after it has been on the altar because they believe the ghosts having eaten it takes away all the flavor. Praying and making an offering today is supposed to bring your household peace for the year.

Last night people were setting off fireworks all over Nankan and there was a big "Hua Che" (literally "flower car," means parade float) procession through town, replete with traditional horn music that always sounds exactly the same and consistently awful to my ears.

I don't have a problem with feeding ghosts. But it's really windy today. And people are burning gobs of ghost money in small altars on busy sidewalks ... seems like a recipe for disaster.

1 comment:

Lily said...

You're only one hilarious accident away from being in LA.

My throat hurts from the constant fire smoke but the moon is a cool orange color