San Francisco’s Chinatown is embracing a modern approach to hosting a time-honored Chinese tradition this August.
A different take: Organized by the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, the city’s inaugural “Chinatown Hungry Ghost Festival” is transforming the somber “Ghost Month” into a vibrant celebration.
Ghost Month, or “鬼月,” is traditionally observed during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, often falling in August. It is believed that restless spirits roam the earthly realm at this time, prompting caution and reduced outdoor activity, especially at night.
Promoting solidarity: Hoi Leung, curator and deputy director of the Chinese Culture Center, explained that the upcoming festival aims to bolster economic development while fostering cross-cultural solidarity.
The month-long event will showcase the rich cultural heritage of Chinatown and is anticipated to attract a diverse audience. The event will feature art workshops, shopping, art games, Taoist rituals and the “Ghost King Parade,” orchestrated by the Lotus Taoism Institute as the grand finale. Art workshops will be held at the Chinatown-Rose Pak Station from 2-6 p.m. on Aug. 11-12, 18-19 and 26. Meanwhile, the Taoist Ritual will be held on at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20 at 829 Stockton St.
Upcoming spectacle: Master Ho Ko, director of the Lotus Taoism Institute, shared that this year’s parade will be particularly exceptional, featuring a brand-new “Ghost King” and a captivating “Flower Bomb Lantern.” The parade, scheduled for Aug. 26 at the Chinatown-Rose Pak Station, promises to be a spectacle, with a towering 15-foot-tall Ghost King that was specially crafted in Hong Kong.
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