Customs and Folklore of Hong Kong
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Yu Lan Festival

Yu Lan Festival

Yu Lan, nicked name Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong, took place in the seventh month in the lunar calendar which is linked to the Chinese practice of ancestor worship.  During this month people occupying parks, piazzas, pitches and other sufficiently spacious places to offer sacrifices to their ancestors and the wandering ghosts, burning incense and joss paper, distributing free rice, and performing live Chinese operas and Chiu Chow–style dramas for ghosts in need of a bit of entertaining.  The Yu Lan Ghost Festival of the Hong Kong Chiu Chow community had been successfully inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011.
With our special introduction of video programmes, photos and old newspapers…etc. from the Multimedia Information System in the Hong Kong Public Libraries, you will surely find them interesting and these materials demonstrate how the Yu Lan Festival affecting human life in old Hong Kong.

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  • Tai Ping Qing Jiao
    Tai Ping Qing Jiao
    "Dajiao", is a Taoist ritual for thanking gods and asking peace and rest in the area. It's generally called "Tai Ping Qing Jiao" in Hong Kong. The frequency of "Dajiao" in Hong Kong varies among different communities; some are held annually like Cheung Chau Tai Ping Qing Jiao which took place in the fourth month in the lunar calendar, while it's in Sheung Shui Heung held every sixty years. The Cheung Chau Tai Ping Qing Jiao, well known as "Bun Festival" by foreigners, provides a platform for the residents of Cheung Chau to showcase their rich folk traditions every year. These include folk crafts such as making paper-mache effigies of deities, setting up the bamboo scaffolding of bun towers, and making handmade buns. Also featured at the Festival are Taoist rituals and folk performing arts such as music, floating colours parade, lion and Qilin dances, as well as drum beating. It had been successfully inscribed onto the third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011. With our special introduction of video/audio programmes, photos and old newspapers…etc. from the Multimedia Information System in the Hong Kong Public Libraries, you will surely be attracted to this internationally renowned festival.
  • Tuen Ng Festival
    Tuen Ng Festival
    Tuen Ng Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month to commemorate an ancient Chinese poet, Qu Yuan. The Festival has long been celebrated in Hong Kong where people eat rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and participate in dragon boat races. To understand how this Festival began, you can simply browse the old newspapers or listen the audio recordings from our library's digital collection. There are also many interesting and unique information that you can find in this collection, including the photos of Dragon Boat Races held in different districts of Hong Kong in the 70s and the poets and articles about the Festival and Qu Yuan written by some Hong Kong authors. The digitized old Hong Kong newspapers also serve as the primary sources reflecting the ways how Hong Kong people celebrated the Festival in the past, for example, the dragon boat races for charity, the ceremonies in commemoration of Qu Yuan, and even the price level of rice dumplings! Last but not the least, there are video clips in the collection showing the traditional activities of Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade and Dragon Boat Dance.