It’s quite strange to go off for dinner and to return into an empty office at 8.30pm. Usually, there will be at least a handful of people still hanging around doing their thing.
Then, I chuckled.
When I was out for dinner a while ago, I saw a banner hung out on the first story window with Chinese words written all over it. There were only two things that I understood – “14/8/2008 to 15/8/2008” and “hungry ghost festival”.
I guess everyone must have gone back home early because of this. Either that or they are rushing home to watch the Olympics. In fact, my girlfriend warned me and told me not to go home too late tonight. “Before 12 midnight!” was her order.
I don’t know much about the hungry ghost festival but I know that this is when it is believed that the gates of hell opens and the dead will walk with the living. I remember some Chinese shows I used to watch when I was much younger. Those movies used to scare the shit out of me.
There will also be these performances held to entertain both the living and the dead. If I am not mistaken, the front row seats are always “vacant”. Well, at least to us humans of course. I wonder if anyone has ever seen an occupied front row before. Have you?
Then, there is the big question — “Aren’t you afraid of ghosts?”
Hell yeah I am afraid of ghosts. Who said Christians aren’t afraid of ghosts? Since young, if you were always scared and threatened with ghosts or little “invisible beings” (by friends, elders or television), do you think that has no affect on one’s mind when they grow up?
So am I shivering in my pants now? Not really.
Why should I be any more afraid than what I already am of these two days when the gates of hell opens and all the ghosts are let loose? What can they do? Appear out of a sudden beside me with their 4 feet long hair covering their head? Climb out of the television set while I am watching the Olympics? (5 rings. Get the joke?) Knock on my window on their motorbike asking me directions to the nearest hospital when I am living on the 10th floor?
I am not making fun of anyone/anything. Those that have moved on onto another life deserve the utmost respect. Individuals’ believe deserves as much. The thing is that we are living in a world 24/7/365 where some deem to be far worse than hell. I have been literally living in fear for the past few months. Although the intensity of fear changes as each event evolves. What are these two days compared to that?
I believe I don’t need to elaborate on that point.
Happy Hungry Ghost Festival!
* Note: I couldn’t find any suitable photos on flickr with the ghost theme. Those two are what I found searching for “ghost”. Anyway, ghosts shouldn’t always be portrayed as bad looking and ugly. We have enough of those smoking cigars dressed up in suits.