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饿鬼节 (È Guĭ Jié) Hungry Ghost Festival

Apr. 2, 2015

The “饿鬼节 (È Guĭ Jié) Hungry Ghost Festival” of Chinese Taoism is also the “盂兰节 (yú lán jié) Ullambana Festival” of Buddhism, commonly called “Ghost Festival鬼节 (guĭ jié) Ghost Festival“or “中元节 (zhōng yuán jié) Mid-July Festival.” It falls on the fifteenth of every lunar July. (In 2009, Hungry Ghost Festival will falls on the coming 3rd September.)

Origin: As the story goes, the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s (King of Hell’s) mother died and was subjected to all manner of torture. Because he could not bear to see his mother suffering so, on the fifteenth day of the 7th lunar month, he used his personal relationships and connections to free his mother’s ghost. Unfortunately, at the same time that he freed his mother’s ghost, all the ghosts in the cell also surged out to disturb the human world. This is the origin of the saying, “On the fifteenth day of the 7th lunar month, the ghosts are released,” so now we call the day Zhong Yuan Festival, or Ghost Festival.

Activity- Floating river lanterns:

On the day of the festival, the living will float river lanterns to remember those who have died. They use boards and colorful paper to make all kinds of lanterns, with candles burning in the middle. Businesses often work together to build a large paper boat, called a Da Fa Boat, to transport all the ghosts to their ideal place. At nightfall, people place the lanterns and boats on the river to see if they float. Whether the boats and lanterns float or not tells them the fate of their deceased relatives. If the lantern or boat swirls in the river, people think the spirit is caught; If it sinks, then the spirit is saved; if it floats far away or to the other shore, the ghost will become an immortal being. While these are certainly good things to wish for, the truth is that most Chinese people float river lanterns just for

Commonly used idioms related to 鬼 (guĭ ) ghost:

1. 神不知鬼不觉 (shénb zhī guĭbùjué): in great secrecy; be mysterious without the spirits knowing about it

Example:

Yídàn gănrăn dì èr dài bìngdú, nĭ de qián jiù huì shénbùzhī guĭbùjué de bèi bìngdú chéngxù zhuăn dào tā
一旦    感染   第 二 代   病毒,你 的  钱   就  会     神不知 鬼不觉     地  被   病毒      程序      转     到   它
suŏ jiànlì de qítā zhànghù shàng le.
所   建立 的 其他   帐户      上    了。
Once infected, your money will be transferred to an additional account opened by the virus program without anybody knowing it.

2. 有钱能使鬼推磨 (yŏu qián néng shĭ guĭ tuī mó): money makes the mare to go./Money talks

3. 鬼鬼祟祟 (guĭguĭsuìsuì):slinky, surreptitious

Example:

Tā guĭguĭsuìsuì de xiàng gōngyuán ménkŏu de nàgè mòshēngrén kào shàng qù, shìtú xiàng tā dōushòu
他    鬼鬼祟祟   地   向       公园        门口    的  那个    陌生人       靠     上     去,试图   向  他    兜售
tōu lái de jièzhi.
偷   来 的 戒指。
He sidled up to the stranger in front of the park and tried to sell him the stolen ring.

生词(shēngcí) Vocabulary

感染(gănrăn): v. infect

病毒(bìngdú): n. virus

程序(chéngxù): n. program

账户(zhànghù): n. account

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