Beware of Hungry Ghosts This September: Yu Lan Festival Returns

Why We Recommend it

One of Hong Kong’s most important traditional festivals, Yu Lan Festival returns this September in a different form due to social distancing measures.


Yu Lan Festival—better known as the Hungry Ghost Festival—is held every year on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. During the festival, people head to the streets at night to burn incense and stacks of “hell money” as offerings to not only their ancestors but also other wandering spirits in order to prevent them from harming or haunting the living.

Apart from making offerings, communities in different districts across the city build large temporary bamboo theatres where Cantonese opera is performed. They serve as a source of entertainment for both the living and the many hungry ghosts around town.

Unfortunately, Hong Kong’s Covid-19 situation has forced many organisations to cancel their annual Yu Lan celebrations this year. However, you might still find people practising their rituals on the night of September 2 in their own neighbourhoods.

If you want to know how to avid ghosts during this month please read here



Credit: photo by Alan Yeh via Flickr


When: 2 Sep 2020 - 2 Sep 2020 Where: