This article focuses on how images of ghosts appear in this culture and the festivals they have to honor all the ghosts and gods. The often ghost that appears is a beautiful young woman, one ghost that’s common as well is a young woman but her face is covered with her black hair. There can be a sudden switch in that too, the beautiful girl can become striking and terrifying. The Chinese also have a holiday to honor the departed spirits, it’s called “The Chinese Ghost Festival”. It’s said that for one lunar month every year, the ghosts roam the streets. In some areas on sidewalks, there are paper fires with money and other offerings to make peace with the ghosts that have been released.
In the Chinese culture, there are things such as a Ghost Wedding. People state that it ensures that the unmarried when they die, aren’t alone in their afterlife. There’s even jewelry involved and a dowry. Age and family background are important in the matchmaking, so families usually just hire a feng shui to do it for their child that has now passed. The reason why this happens is because there were mass murders and the number of young unmarried men working in coal factories, so the fatalities were high. This mostly happens in central and northern China but some cases are found in southeast Asia.
The thoughts of this belief go all the way back to a third century tale about the buddhist monk named Mulian, and his mother came back to haunt him as a thin throated, huge stomached figure. So he fed her but the more he fed her the hungrier she became. It’s said she was very greedy in her lifetime. He then turned to Buddha for advice and he said to take food and money and other items and go to the temple and that would feed the ghosts appetite, and that’s how the “hungry” ghost tradition was born.
This source says there’s 3 different parts they go to after they die. One goes to the grave, the other goes to receive judgement, and the last makes the “ancestral tablet” it’s home. There are also 3 different types of ghosts, there’s hungry, there’s orphaned and vengeful. Also, people also believe most ghosts are woman, because it’s believed that they suffer in life more than men.
Emily Mark explains the Chinese culture when it came to death and believing in ghosts. She goes on to explaining how in ancient China they took ghosts more seriously, but now in modern day China, ghosts only have the power to harm you if you let them do so. “When a person died their soul journeyed across the bridge to the afterlife”(Mark p.1). Mark explains how after crossing the bridge, they were called either worthy or unworthy. If they’ve been described as evil, they would fall off the bridge into hell, and if they’re noticed as good, they’re either reincarnated or spend the rest of the time with their gods depending on their beliefs. This is a useful source giving she has so much more information on it and has her own sponsors.