The three-day Hungry Ghost Festival 2010 celebration in Section 21 SEA Park, Petaling Jaya from September 4 - 6 was made more memorable this year with the presence of renowned international traveller and television personality of Discovery channel fame Ian Wright and his TV crew filming the entire ceremony on Monday night 6th Sept, the last day of the celebration.
Read: Travel show host Ian Wright at Hungry Ghost Festival 2010 celebration in SEA Park, Petaling Jaya
Organized by Persatuan Penyokong-Penyokong Perayaan Poh Toh SEA Park, the celebration was held at a closed-off street in Jalan 21/17 SEA Park in front of the wet market.
Hundreds of worshippers thronged the makeshift altar to make offerings of food and prayers to the King of Hades or “Tai Su Yeah” during the three days to receive blessings of good health and good fortune throughout the year.
There were also lively outdoor stage performances near the makeshift altar throughout the three nights to entertain the ghosts! Humans also enjoyed the entertainment.
The Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and for this year it was celebrated from August 10 to September 7. During the 7th month, Taoists believed that the gates of hell were opened to allow the ghosts freedom to roam around on earth.
Check out below the photoshots of the unique cultural cum religious Hungry Ghost Festival ceremony or "Yee Lan Seng Hui" in Section 21 SEA Park, Petaling Jaya.
An outdoor makeshift altar is built in the middle of Jalan 21/17 with effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" and prayer items placed on the main altar table.
An effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" standing tall at the covered outdoor altar.
Sumptuous offerings of food to the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
Worshippers offering prayers to the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
A man knelt in front of the altar and prayed.
Monks performing ritual to the ghosts.
Worshippers make offerings to receive blessings of health and good luck throughout the year. The effigies of five horses symbolise earth, water, wind, fire and metal which sustain life.
Residents and the business community offering mass prayers to the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
A meditation and chanting ceremony by a chief priest and monks.
A prayer chanting ceremony to absolve the deceased from suffering.
People making donations at a collection booth. All public donations received during the festival would be donated to various charities.
A list of major donors are put on display for all to see.
Laid on top of long tables were food offerings such as rice, cooking oils, Milo drinks etc which were for the hungry ghosts to feast on.
The foods are donated by the community and placed there to feed the hungry ghosts. All these foods will be distributed to the poor when the festival is over.
The committee members of Section 21 SEA Park Residents Association (RA) and Section 21 SEA Park Rukun Tetangga (RT) jointly formed a vigilante-style group to stand guard over the foods to prevent looters.
Lively stage performances were held at night to entertain the ghosts and the crowd!
Performers singing popular songs provided the entertainment.
The stage performances at night attracts big crowd. However there are still some who dare not leave their homes to watch the show for fear of ghosts following them home.
The first row of seven seats are left empty. They are arranged for "them" to sit and enjoy the show. Please do not seat on them least you “offended” the ghosts.
Dragon dance troupes performing at the festival.
The pair of dragons offering prayers to the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
The "Old Lady" with a painted mask and traditional costume interacts with the crowd. Seen here on the right is Yoke Wong Thai Tay Temple SEA Park senior medium Ronnie Chiew.
The "Old Lady" distributing sweets to everyone.
A monk performing the last rites on the seven empty seats before the sending-off of the deity "Tai Su Yeah".
Large crowd of worshippers offering their final prayers to give the King of Hades a rousing send-off.
Volunteers and committee members (in yellow t-shirt) of Poh Toh Association SEA Park helped to carry out the effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" for the farewell ceremony.
The effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" being carried out of the altar.
The King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" being carried to an open-air car park next to the former Ruby cinema in Jalan 21/19.
A dragon dance performance to give the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" a rousing send-off.
A paper effigy of a ship being carried to the open car park for burning.
Paper effigies of five horses being carried by volunteers to the open car park for burning.
The effigy of King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" together with his horses and other paper effigies are covered with thousands of joss paper folded and shaped like gold ingots.
The King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" togwther with his horses and other paper effigies are almost submerged with thousands of joss papers.
A monk performing the last rite before the burning of the effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
Worshippers offer their prayers during the last rite.
Worshippers encircling the effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" during the last rite ceremony.
Poh Toh SEA Park chairman Gan Keng (right) and a committee member setting alight the effigy of King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
The paper effigy of the King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah" together with his horses, ship, mansion, bus, bridge and other paper items are burnt to return the deity back to where he came from.
Worshippers kneel and pray to pay respect to the deity King of Hades or "Tai Su Yeah".
Poh Toh SEA Park Association chairman Gan Keng watching over the burning of the King of Hades effigy or "Tai Su Yeah" to mark the sending off of the deity after the last day of the celebration.
After the fiery farewell, many gathered back to the altar site waiting for free raw meat.
A butcher chopping goat meat into pieces for distribution.
Poh Toh SEA Park chairman Gan Keng (right) and committee members at the site to ensure orderly distribution of free raw meat.
One for the album: Committee members of the SEA Park Poh Toh Association (Persatuan Penyokong Penyokong Perayaan Poh Toh SEA Park) 2010 in a group photo.