This week, we’ll be celebrating Halloween in the United States, which is a time best known for trick-or-treating, costumes, and lots of parties. If you are part of an Asian dating relationship, is there anything special you need to know? Do they celebrate Halloween in China?
The Chinese don’t celebrate Halloween quite like Westerners do, but they do have a similar celebration called the Hungry Ghost Festival.
In order to better understand the differences, we should keep in mind that Halloween is based on “the day of the dead”. This is a day on which ghosts can cross the boundary between the living and the dead. The Chinese have a similar belief.
On the days of the Ghost Month, which is usually in August, it is said that the ghosts are very active among the living, particularly on the night of the full moon. On this night in particular, the living must take special precautions to honor the dead in order to avoid attacks or pranks from them. There are a number of special ceremonies, performances, and offerings left for the ghosts to show that the living still honor them. When the ghosts are pleased, they will help and protect the living. When they are not happy, they can wreak havoc!
In the past, this festival was quite serious, but it has become more light-hearted in modern times. However, Halloween celebrations in the West are much more easygoing and fun than those in the East, where there is still a sense of solemnity.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is an interesting experience, especially for foreigners who have never participated in this tradition. If Asian dating brings you to China during these festivities, you might want to ask your date to accompany you.