The Ghost Festival here in China is something of a long lost relative of the Western Worlds Halloween. What is shared is the idea that on certain days the human world and the spiritual world overlap, a belief which has deep roots in Chinese cultural history. Four holidays in the traditional calendar are known as 鬼节(gui3 jie2) or Ghost Festivals. Ghosts are “hungry” in Chinese culture so they will be offered food, alcohol or cigarettes as appeasement. During one festival in particular, Qingming Festival, Chinese take advantage of their proximity to the spirit world to send swag to their ancestors in the afterlife by burning paper offerings in the likeness of BMW’s, townhouses, iPads and of course fake hundred dollar bills.
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