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Autumn through its hues and festivals

Updated: 2018-09-24 08:54:25

( China Daily )

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Ghost Festival

Ghost Festival, which dates back to the pre-Qin period (before 221 BC), is now observed by Chinese people across the world as one of the four major ancestor-worshipping festivals along with Spring Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day and Chongyang Festival.

People pay tributes to their late family members and ancestors on the day, and seek their blessings for a good harvest. They also set off floating lanterns in rivers to help the dead find their way back home. Newly harvested food grains, called "autumn taste" are offered as oblations, to the ancestors. And many people burn paper oblations as, according to Taoism, the dead can receive the offerings that are burned in "this world" because on this day, the King of Hell sets them free to meet their offspring and family members.

However, during a campaign aimed at modernizing social traditions in the 1950s, the authorities criticized the festival for its "superstitious" nature. The festival lost its appeal in the years that followed until 2010 when the government recognized it as a national intangible cultural heritage.

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