The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, or Yu Lan is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month.
In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in Spring) and Chung Yeung Festival (in Autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living.
The Ghost Festival is celebrated during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of Buddhist monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community. During this month, the gates of hell are opened up and ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who forgot to pay tribute to them after they died, or those who were never given a proper ritual send-off. They have long needle-thin necks because they have not been fed by their family, or as a punishment so that they are unable to swallow.
Family members offer prayers to their deceased relatives, offer food and drink, and burn hell bank notes and other forms of joss paper.
Joss paper items are believed to have value in the afterlife,considered to be very similar in some aspects to the material world.
People burn paper houses, cars, servants and televisions to please the ghosts. Families also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls do not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune.
The Battle of Castlebar occurred near the town of Castlebar, County Mayo, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. A combined force of 2,000 French and Irish routed a force of 6,000 British in what would later become known as the Castlebar Races.
The long-awaited French landing to assist the Irish revolution begun by Theobald Wolfe Tone's Society of United Irishmen had taken place five days previously on 22 August, when almost 1,100 troops under the command of General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert landed at Cill Chuimín Strand, County Mayo. They faced a superior force of British regulars and Irish militias under the command of General Gerard Lake, the victor of the Battle of Vinegar Hill. The build-up of the British forces at Castlebar had reached 6,000 soldiers with dozens of artillery pieces and huge caches of supplies by dawn of 27 August.
The battle had begun well for the defending British, their superior artillery cutting down the French and Irish in droves. The French then launched a bayonet charge, the ferocity and determination of which unnerved units of the militia stationed behind the artillery. The militia units began to waver before the French reached their lines and eventually turned in panic and fled the battlefield, abandoning the gunners and artillery. Some soldiers of the Longford and Kilkenny militias ran to join the republicans and even joined in the fighting against their former comrades. A unit of cavalry and British regular infantry attempted to stand and stem the tide of panic but were quickly overwhelmed.
In the headlong flight of thousands of British soldiers, massive quantities of guns and equipment were abandoned, among which was General Lake's personal luggage. Although not pursued a mile or two beyond Castlebar, the British did not stop until reaching Tuam, with some units fleeing as far as Athlone in the panic.
Although achieving a spectacular victory, the losses of the French and Irish were high, losing about 150 men, mostly to the cannonade at the start of the battle. The British suffered over 350 casualties of which about 80 were killed, the rest either wounded or captured, including perhaps 150 who joined the republicans. Following the victory, thousands of volunteers flocked to join the French who also sent a request to France for reinforcements and formally declared an Irish Republic.
On this day in 1859, petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania by Col. Edwin L. Drake, leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well and by extension the oil industry as we know it..
On this violent day in 1979, a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb killed British World War II admiral Louis Mountbatten and three others while they are boating on holiday in Sligo, Republic of Ireland. Shortly after, 18 British Army soldiers were killed in an ambush near Warren- point, Northern Ireland.
Born This Day:
1770: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who said:
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.