This will be the first Spirits Festival held in the 85-year-old iconic Asian park celebrating the traditional festivals of Singapore, aptly incorporating its newly-built Hell’s Museum, and the park’s infamous 10 Courts of Hell.
The 7th Lunar Month has always been riddled with mystery, rituals, and a perceived sense of superstition. Officially, the 15th day – 12 August this year – is commemorated by the Taoists as the Hungry Ghost Festival (Zhong Yuan Jie), and by the Buddhists as the Ullambana Festival (Yu Lan Jie). However, in Singapore and Malaysia, these festivals may be observed throughout the entire 7th Lunar Month. But today, the festival has seen a reduction in scale and grandeur from yesteryears. The sun seems to be setting on this once widely celebrated ghost month in Singapore, and many related industries are also seeing their decline.
The Spirits Festival will commemorate both the Taoist Hungry Ghost Festival and the Buddhist Ullambana Festival in a series of events and an exhibition that will run till end of this year. It will focus on unity in diversity, showing similarities in beliefs and practices amongst the different schools of thought across East Asia. Events organised by Journeys Pte Ltd (JPL) and its associate firm, Singapore History Consultants (SHC), will both entertain and educate visitors on the festivals and the related practices they frequently see but might not understand.
JPL seeks to establish the Spirits Festival as one of the key events on Haw Par Villa’s calendar, in recognition of the significant number of Buddhist and Taoist sculptures and dioramas in the park. After two years of the pandemic, as large gatherings and international travel resume, Journeys also hopes to attract more visitors to Haw Par Villa as a community space for programmes and events.
Venue: Haw Par Villa
When: 12 - 26 Aug 2022,