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Different shades of Western and Chinese 'ghost festivals'

2015-10-30 14:36

By (chinadaily.com.cn)

Different shades of Western and Chinese 'ghost festivals'

A child makes pumpkin lantern before the Halloween. [Photo/Xinhua]

Pumpkin lantern & Water lantern

During Halloween, people make pumpkin lights, which are made by hollowing the pumpkin, carving evil faces on the surface and put candles inside, used to drive out the spirits.

During Zhongyuan Festival, Chinese people also make river lanterns which are made by pasting paper into a lotus shapes with a lamp or candle placed inside. In traditional Chinese culture, human beings and land belong to "yang", which means positive, so ghosts and water belong to "yin", which means negative. The dark and mysterious underworld usually reminds people of the gloomy sepulchral hell where the ghosts suffer, so lanterns are released to rivers or lakes to guide the way for the dead people.