Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Quote

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The Hungry Ghost Festival

Just as Halloween is for Americans, the ‘Hungry Ghost festival’ is for the Chinese. For those who have never heard of this festival, here are the essential ‘spooky’ facts on this festival.

Hungry Ghost festival is a popular occasion that is taken very seriously by the Chinese. This festival that falls on the 7th month of the lunar New Year is celebrated mainly in China and other countries like Singapore & Malaysia. It is believed by the Chinese that during this month, the gates of hell are opened to free the hungry ghosts who then wander to seek food on Earth. Some even think that the ghosts would seek revenge on those who had wronged them in their lives. The reason why the Chinese celebrate this festival is to remember their dead family members and pay tribute to them. They also feel that offering food to the deceased appeases them and wards off bad luck.


Another belief among the Chinese is that the dead return to visit their living relatives during the 7th month and thus they prepare a sumptuous meal for the ‘hungry ghosts’. The Chinese feel that they have to satisfy the ghosts in order to get good fortune and luck in their lives.

During the 7th month, the Chinese offer prayers to the deceased relatives and burn joss sticks. In Singapore, it is a common sight to see entertaining ‘wayang’ shows and concerts performed on outdoor stages in some neighborhoods. These events are always held at night. There is a belief that this entertainment would please those wandering ghosts.


An interesting superstition that the Chinese have about the festival is that it is bad to go swimming during the 7th month. They think that an evil ghost might cause you to drown in the swimming pool. In addition to this, children are also advised to return home early and not to wander around alone at night. This belief is due to the reason that the wandering ghosts might possess children.

Offerings to the Dead

The Chinese also do a lot of offerings to the deceased. These offerings are made by burning fake money notes, which are also known as ‘hell money’ and even paper television or radio sets. Some families also burn paper houses & cars to give to their dead relatives. The Chinese feel that these offerings reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their world.

The Chinese regard the 15th of the month as an important date to give a feast to the ghosts. On this date, the family will cook a lot of dishes and offer them to the deceased. This is done to please the ghosts and also to gain good luck for the family. 15 days after the feast, the festival will be over, as the Chinese believe that the ghosts return back to where they come from.

My Politics

Yes my readers it is true I am a Liberal Democrat. I would ask that you not post any hate comments on this post sheerly because of the fact my opinion doesn't agree with yours. So any ways here are some awesome Democratic websites:

Al Gore

Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama

American Civil Liberties Union

Democratic Party

Wow!! This is odd...

If Barrack Obama becomes the next US Prez, then actor Brad Pitt would have a distant cousin in the White House and if Hillary Clinton gets the vote, then Angelina Jolie will have a distant cousin in office, say genealogists.

According to researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Barack Obama is a distant cousin of Brad Pitt while Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Alanis Morissette, and Celine Dion. The researchers found that Pitt and Obama are ninth cousins, linked by Edwin Hickman, who died in Virginia in 1769.

Clinton and Jolie, meanwhile, are ninth cousins, twice removed because they are both related to Jean Cusson who died in St. Sulpice, Quebec, in 1718.

"When you get back into your ancestry, you eventually find that you're related to lots of people," the New York Daily News quoted genealogist Christopher Child, who guided the presidential research for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, as saying. "Presidential candidates are no exception," he added.

The study was based entirely on vital records kept by cities, counties and towns. Clinton, who is of French-Canadian descent on her mother's side, is also a distant cousin of singers Madonna, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette, the research found. Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, can call six U.S. Presidents, including George W. Bush, his cousins.

Meanwhile, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain is a sixth cousin of First Lady Laura Bush. "It shows that lots of different people can be related; people you wouldn't necessarily expect," Child said. Obama has the most prolific presidential lineage, featuring Democrats and Republicans. His distant cousins include President George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, as well as Gerald Ford, Harry S Truman and James Madison.

So if I understand this article correctly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are something like eighteenth cousins.