Taiwanese on Sunday celebrated the arrival of the Ghost Festival to appease the spirits of the dead with noisy performances and solemn prayers, hoping ghosts will not disturb them in the coming month.
Local governments organized street marches and performances while Buddhist and Taoists temples threw open their doors to welcome people to pray and make offerings to the dead.
Individual families performed their own rituals at home by burning incense and displaying cakes and fruit to appease the souls of their ancestors, and many businesses that are closed Sunday marked the Ghost Festival a few days earlier - also by burning paper money and making offerings to the dead.
Vice President Annette Lu attended celebrations in Chilung, which holds Taiwan's largest Ghost Festival each year.
Street marches and open-air performances in Chilung, the coastal city 40 kilometres east of Taipei, kicked off at about 6 pm and continued until 10 pm, when the participants moved to the Pisha Fishing Port to release paper lanterns to appease the souls of "water ghosts" - those who drowned in the sea, river or lakes.
Sunday's celebrations herald the arrival of the Ghosts Festival which begins on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar Calendar.
Last Mod: 27 Ağustos 2007, 00:05
During the seventh month, according to tradition, the doors of hell opens to let the spirits roam the human world. People make offerings to feed the ghosts and comfort them, so that they return to the underworld when the Ghost Festival ends and the doors of hell again shut.
Many Chinese see the month as a dangerous time in which they avoid flying, travelling by sea, operations, business deals or moving house.