– Hungry Ghosts festival 2010 in Penang to attract tourists

From: DirectRooms
Published: Mon Jul 19 2010

Traditional South East Asian festivals are major tourist draws, and none more so than Penang’s Hungry Ghost Festival 2010, with businesses in the tourism sector already making preparations to welcome arrivals. The festival is Chinese in origin, and is celebrated by the Chinese community, specifically in Penang.

The Hungry Ghost Festival kicks off in the seventh lunar month, and is being celebrated this year between 10 August and 7 September, an already popular time for tourists to visit Penang.

It is believed that during this time the gates of hell are opened and all the hungry ghosts emerge to forage the land for food. Every evening across Penang’s Chinese community, paper money and incense is burned to placate the spirits of the dead ancestors and ensure good luck.

Street operas and puppet shows are performed nightly to entertain the ghosts, and at the end of the festival a giant paper image of the King of Hungry Ghosts is ceremonially burned, which sends all the unwelcome visitors back to hell.

Booking a cheap Penang hotel at this time is not easy, according to, as many other visitors are already on the island. A room in George Town, where the festival is at its liveliest, is best booked well in advance.

The marketing head of, Lek Boonlert, comments, "Visitors who want to be as close as possible to the celebrations should book early rather that later."


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