Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hungry Ghost Festival in Malaysia


Hungry Ghost Festival is one of the most important celebration to be celebrated by Chinese communities in Asia, including my home country in Malaysia as well. It occurs during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar every year and is celebrated for 15 days. I managed to catch a glimpse of the Hungry Ghost Festival celebration in my neighbourhood recently.

According to Chinese traditional belief, the gate of hell are opened during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar thus, the ancestors and the spirits wander around the streets and visiting their families for food and entertainment. In order to appease the hungry spirits, the Chinese communities pray and show their respects to the ancestors and visiting spirits by offering the burning incense, joss sticks like the shape of dragons as well as burning the paper formed (mock) currency,  miniature house, vehicles, clothing, mobile phones, latest gadgets etc. for the spirits' use in the other world. 

Apart from that, some Chinese neighbourhood hold some Chinese Opera shows and live entertainment shows at nights to entertain the ghosts / spirits with the entertaining shows and lavish cooked food on the front row of the seats which are left empty for the wandering souls.


Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated by Chinese in Malaysia and other countries in Asia region
Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated by Chinese in Malaysia and other countries in Asia region


Preparing ritual offerings and paying respect to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Preparing ritual offerings and paying respect to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Preparing ritual offerings and burning incense to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Preparing ritual offerings and burning incense and joss stick in the shape of dragon, to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Food offering for the ancestors and the passing ghosts during Hungry Ghost Festival 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Food offering for the ancestors and the passing ghosts during Hungry Ghost Festival 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Preparing offerings, burning incense and joss sticks to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Preparing offerings, burning incense and joss sticks to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Paper formed burning of an aeroplane for the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Paper formed burning of an aeroplane for the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Paper formed burning of houses and clothes for the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Paper formed burning of houses and clothes for the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Paper formed miniature boat, clothes and cars burning for offering to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Paper formed miniature boat, clothes and cars burning for offering to the ancestors and visiting spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


 A news clip highlights The hungry ghost festival "The Chinese Version Of Halloween" (Source: BBC News via youtube)



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Times Square & Broadway at Manhattan, New York City


It is everyone's dream to visit Manhattan in New York. I had the opportunity to travel to New York City for four days. There is a lot of planning to do since traveling to New York is more expensive compared to traveling to San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Staying in a hotel within Manhattan district isn't cheap. The range of a hotel stay rate is between US$200 to US$600 per night. I was lucky and managed to find an affordable and decent hotel in Manhattan. We were staying at Holiday Inn New York City Fifth Avenue at Manhattan downtown which is cheaper than staying at 4 star and 5 star hotels within the area. Beside that, staying within Manhattan helped me to reduce traveling time wastage in New York City.

There is an advantage of staying in a hotel within Manhattan. New York City is well-known for its high traffic thus, it is not recommended to ride on Hop On Hop Off buses or taxis (cabs) around Manhattan streets. The locals and tourists tend to walk a lot on the streets or rely on subway trains to get around in a shorter time. 

There is a flat taxi (yellow cab) fare between (from and to) John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport and Manhattan at US$52.00 one way, including toll rates. For more details about the rate of yellow cab, please refer to this official website of NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission.



New York or also well-known as The Big Apple
New York or also well-known as The Big Apple


A lot of food vendors can be found every corner of the streets of New York City in USA
A lot of food vendors can be found every corner of the streets of New York City in USA


Walking along Manhattan streets in New York, USA
Walking along Manhattan streets in New York, USA


Manhattan downtown in New York City, USA
Manhattan downtown in New York City, USA


The Grand Central Train Station in New York City, USA
The Grand Central Train Station in New York City, USA


More skyscraper office buildings can be seen along the streets in New York City, USA
More skyscraper office buildings can be seen along the streets in New York City, USA


M&M's World in New York City, USA
M&M's World in New York City, USA


High rise landscape office buildings can be seen everywhere in New York City, USA
High rise landscape office buildings can be seen everywhere in New York City, USA


Popular shopping street at South Street Seaport in New York City, USA
Popular shopping street at South Street Seaport in New York City, USA


The view of midtown Manhattan in New York City, USA
The view of midtown Manhattan in New York City, USA


Queuing to enter theatre hall with tickets at Broadway in New York City, USA
Queuing to enter theatre hall with tickets at Broadway in New York City, USA


Watching Spiderman on Broadway in New York City, USA
Watching Spiderman on Broadway in New York City, USA


I found the studio of CBS Late Show with David Letterman in New York City, USA
I found the studio of CBS Late Show with David Letterman in New York City, USA


Seeing myself in the giant tv screen at Times Square in New York City, USA
Seeing myself in the giant tv screen at Times Square in New York City, USA


NYPD Surveillance Booth at the crowded area in Times Square in New York City, New York, USA
NYPD Surveillance Booth at the crowded area in Times Square in New York City, New York, USA


The Panaroma view of Times Square in New York City, USA
The Panaroma view of Times Square in New York City, USA


It's crowded and packed with people in Times Square in New York, USA
It's crowded and packed with people in Times Square in New York, USA


The rear view of Times Square from the spectator seats in Manhattan, New York, USA
The rear view of Times Square from the spectator seats in Manhattan, New York, USA


Variety of Musical Broadway shows in New York City, USA
Variety of Musical Broadway shows in New York City, USA


The view of the popular attraction at Times Square in New York City, USA
The view of the popular attraction at Times Square in New York City, USA


More views from Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, USA
More views from Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, USA