The Feast
(10 to 16 August 2003)

Claire & Tom.

Camerie.

THROUGH THE EYES OF...
Rowan Davies - Scotland

The 7th Lunar Month in the Chinese Calendar is known as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, as it is during this time the Gates of Hell open up and the lost spirits who have no descendants to honour them roam the earth. It was with great surprise then when I was invited by Ping and Hai to attend a banquet and auction the local community was holding as part of the festival. Rachel, another girl from the hostel, and I had an intriguing evening finding out about the importance of the festival.

It was explained to us that people respect these lost spirits by providing them with the things they lack; so people often burn paper representations of cars, clothing, money, food, etc. so that the ghosts can receive them. Communities also put on performances of Chinese Opera, known locally as Wayangs to entertain them, or hold banquets and auctions in their honour. So we were really fortunate to attend one of these events.

Campbell Lane (where the hostel is located) was transformed into an outdoor dinner hall with banners and a large stand displaying the items to be auctioned.

There were around 9 courses of food throughout the evening, which gave me a lot of opportunities to brush up on my chopsticks skills! Almost all the food was new to me, and utterly scrumptious. We had sharkfin soup (which Rachel thought was chicken soup!), braised sea cucumber, roast piglet with chilli sauce, deep-fried yam, and some amazing desserts, which were the real highlights of the meal.

The auction raised money for the next year's banquet, and was a great success.

It was also explained to us that the Hungry Ghosts are honoured not out of fear, but out of respect, as although they are walking around, they will not harm anyone.

By the end of the evening, I was stuffed, and had experienced one of many wonders that Singapore has to offer.

Rowan Davies -14 August 2003


Dustin, Fiona & Miriam.

Rodrigo, Andrea & Allessandra.

Leslie and Gerry.

Hungry Ghost Festival Banquet
right at our doorstep!

Rowan & Rachel representing The InnCrowd at the banquet!

S$1,000 for a bottle of brandy!
Going once, twice, sold to Rowan & Rachel!

Leslie joins in.

Bonfire!

Allessandra & Andrea.

Gerry (before his sneeze!) and Rodrigo.

L-R: Leslie, Caroline, Manfred, Anthony & Amy.

The InnCrowd's Bus...

We love satay!

Rachel, Amy & Felix.

Carsten, Anthony & Rachel.

Rebecca & Rowan.

Pawel & Joe.

Al fresco dining.

We're really full now...

Merlion Park.

Fullerton Hotel.

Skyscrapers at Raffles Place.
 

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Hostel Singapore National Day Parade