It’s that time of the year when the gates of heaven and hell are open, and Singapore’s cultural theme park is hosting a festival to commemorate the ghostly visitors.
From 12 to 26 Aug., the Spirits Festival, featuring a lineup of events and an exhibition, will take place at Haw Par Villa in honor of the 7th Lunar Month, better known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, in which Taoists and Buddhists pray to the dead.
The 85-year-old theme park, which recently opened its Hell’s Museum and houses the renowned 10 Courts of Hell exhibit, is holding the event to commemorate both the Taoist Hungry Ghost Festival and the Buddhist Ullambana Festival.
It will focus on diversity and showing the similarities in beliefs and practices amongst the different schools of thought across East Asia.
Don’t worry, history consultants will be present to guide visitors and educate them on the festivals and their practices.
The park is partnering with Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency, a paper offerings company that sadly closed down due to pandemic last month. They will showcase their crafted traditional Teochew lanterns and paper effigies in an exhibition — End of an Era – The Legacy of a Vanishing Trade: Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency — that will run till Dec. 31.
A Tibetan 7th Lunar Month Sur Prayer with the Tibetan Buddhist Centre will also be hosted on Aug. 18. The prayers are for hungry ghosts and is an ancient ritual of compassion and blessing.
There will also be a combined prayer session conducted by Buddhist monks and Taoist priests which will focus on praying for compassion, generosity, remembrance and repentance on Aug. 20.
Besides the prayers, there will be a panel discussion on Aug. 18 by experts in Buddhism and Taoism Venerable Shi You Guang and Master Chung Kwang Tong who will talk about the misconceptions around certain religious practices.
Sign-ups and tickets are available on their website now.
Haw Par Villa
Open 9am to 8pm daily
262 Pasir Panjang Road
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