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Chiu Chow opera appeases wandering spirits in Hong Kong

Live operas are a ritual for Chiu Chow community during Hungry Ghost Festival

Published on Aug 12, 2014 8:47 PM

THE clang of gongs resounds to the skies while heavily-painted opera performers belt out a traditional Chiu Chow opera on the bamboo stage. 

On this hot summer night, people are packed into rows of chairs in the playground in Kwun Tong, Kowloon.

Yet, some seats in the front row are unoccupied - but perhaps, not really.

It is the 15th day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. And it is on this night - when a full moon with its haunting halo hangs in the sky - that the Chiu Chow community in Hong Kong marks the Yulan Festival, or the Hungry Ghost Festival, to appease the wandering spirits that many Chinese believe walk the earth this month.

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