Phuket Town keeps ghosts happy

3 Sep 2012

The annual Hungry Ghost Festival began yesterday in Phuket Town and will run through until 15 September. The festival is known as Por Tor in Thai and celebrates the Chinese belief that their ancestors return to earth at this time of year and need feeding.

Phuket Town’s municipal officials say they have a diverse cultural programme set up for the duration of the festival. A colourful street parade signified the start of the festivities yesterday and for those who missed it there will another one on Sunday 9 September. 

A spokesperson for the council announced that the focus of the events will be Ranong Road Market for today and from tomorrow, for the duration of the festival, at Bang Neaw Shrine. On 5 September there will be a special event at Tai Hua Museum and the following day at Takuapa Road.

Ethnic Chinese traditionally offer red turtle shaped cakes tua gu (big) and aung gu (small) in honour of their ancestors. Over the weekend, the town’s deputy mayor led dignitaries at a ceremony heralding the advent of the festival and he cut into a tua gu.

The spokesperson said turtles have lengthy lives and Chinese people believe that by offering the turtle cakes they may attain the same longevity. The colour red is also lucky in China.    

The Hungry Ghost Festival is held around this time of year with the actual date dictated by the lunar calendar. The 1Stop Phuket festivals page offers more details of annual festivals and events held on the island.  

Tags: ghosts happy

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