Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hunger Ghost Festival

Phor Thor or Hunger Ghost Festival was celebrated throughout the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. For 2007, the festival started from Oct 13 and ended at Sept 10, 2007. Chinese believed that the Gates of Hell would be opened during this month where hungry ghosts were given the freedom to roam the earth.

One peculiar culture of Chinese was to seek the death to inquire about their well being during this seventh month. Mediums were consulted as the middle spoke person between the death and the living.

At one particular “consultation” somewhere in Penang Hill, I overheard the following conversations:

Ghost Seeker : Mr Moniot, you were such a lucky man. In 1989, our Penang Government honored you and named the Moniot Road as a heritage trail. You will be remembered for a long, long time. So how was life for the past years along Moniot Road?

Moniot : Terrible. I used to go about freely before living humans declared my road as a heritage trail. Now, even the signboards explaining my deeds were torn down.

Ghost Seeker : What do you meant?

Moniot : I am now treated like outcaste. Part of my heritage road was bulldozed recently to make way for a double lane road to Brothers’ Bungalow.

Ghost Seeker : I thought heritage trail should be left alone.

Moniot : Oh…this is Bolehland…and just because my name was Moniot which was some kind of alien, I was left to rot. Nobody take care of me anymore.

The mini "waterfall" where Mr Moniot can have picnic with his ghostly friends.

Ghost Seeker : Think positive ok. Now, you can have picnic at Moniot Road at the small waterfall. And in case you forget, there is also a small river running along your road!! Can swim-swim and mandi-mandi, he he he…

The "river" that Mr Moniot can "swim-swim" during the month of Hunger Ghost.

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