Halloween, the Western Hungry Ghost Festival?

in Lifestyle

We all know that Yu Lan Festival is well-known as the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival or simply the Ghost Festival, while Halloween is a Western festival which is associated with supernatural things. Compare the two festivals, what can we find out? Is Halloween the Western Hungry Ghost Festival? Any similarities or differences can we figure out?

1. Misunderstanding of the First Day of Festival

Halloween is on the 31st Oct, right?  The Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month, right?
The answer is N-O!

All Hallows’ Day The Hungry Ghost Festival
1st Nov 15th day of the seventh lunar month

The Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival actually falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, starts from 11pm of 14th day to 1am of 15th day.
Halloween is the All Hallows’ Eve, people start celebrating on this day but it doesn’t mean All Hallows’ Day is on the 31st Oct.


2. Complicated History Background

Do you know the background of both festivals? Actually both of them have merged some kinds of cultures together and thus developed the unique festival of their own.

All Hallows’ Day The Hungry Ghost Festival
Christianity + Celts Zhong Yuan Festival + Yu Lan Festival

3. Activity

The two festivals have their own activities, did you ever visit the Yu Lan Festival exhibition? Be careful to come back home early before midnight.

All Hallows’ Day The Hungry Ghost Festival
Trick or Treat Exhibition of Yu Lan Festival

From day to day, Halloween has become a festival with laughers and parties. On the other hand, Yu Lan Festival is a festival full of memories and awedness.


4. Seek for Brightness

The brightness can light up the darkness. Both of the festivals have celebrations including fire or lights.

All Hallows’ Day The Hungry Ghost Festival
Make Jack-O-Lantern Burn faux money


5. Differences

Although the two festivals have such similarities, they have differences too.

All Hallows’ Day The Hungry Ghost Festival
Costumes & Food Ancestor worship & Spirits appeasement

Halloween has its own costumes and food while Yu Lan Festival has its own activities during the period of time.


Cultures and traditions can be similar but there are always special meanings behind them. Try to explore the stories.
By the way, what is your planning for the Halloween next week?

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