Spirits Festival 2022
09:00am August 12, 2022 to 06:00pm August 26, 2022

Spirits Festival 2022

Every 7th Lunar Month, the gates of hell open and hungry ghosts are free to wander the mortal realm, looking for food and entertainment – or do they? You’ve seen the Hungry Ghost Festival and Ullambana Festival growing up. But do you know why these activities are practiced? 🤔💭

 

Join us in Haw Par Villa’s inaugural Spirits Festival 2022 to explore what this spooky and misunderstood month is all about! Scroll down to see what’s happening in Haw Par Villa! ⏬

 

1. (Exhibition) End of an Era – The Legacy of a Vanishing Trade: Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency

Spirits Festival - End of an Era - The Legacy of a Vanishing Trade: Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency

For 63 years, Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency was a pillar of the paper offerings industry, a crucial component of the commemoration of traditional rituals in Chinese festivals.

 

Its owner, Mr Yeo Hung Teo, 83, was famous for being one of the few artisans in Singapore who could craft and paint traditional Teochew lanterns. The company also created and supplied paper effigies needed for events such as the Hungry Ghost Festival and the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

 

Sadly, in July 2022, the firm shut its doors for the last time – the victim of a general decline in traditional Chinese trades in Singapore, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an unexpected tragedy.

 

 

The exhibition is at the Cloud Pavilion next to the Culture Courtyard.

 

Yeo Swee Huat before its closure on 30 June 2022, fulfilling its last orders

Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency in June 2022, just before its closure. Credit: Singapore History Consultants.

2. Tibetan 7th Lunar Month Sur Prayer @ Haw Par Villa

On the evening of Thursday, 18 August, Journeys Pte Ltd will host the Tibetan Buddhist Centre in conducting a Sur Prayer.

 

The prayer will be held at the Culture Courtyard, from 5.30pm to 6.15pm.

 

The Sur Prayer is an offering made to hungry ghosts in Tibetan Buddhism, done during the 7th Lunar Month. The Tibetan Buddhist Centre usually conducts the Sur Prayer at their headquarters in 281 Jalan Besar, every day during the 7th Lunar Month, usually at dusk.

 

For the first time, they will conduct the prayer in Haw Par Villa.

 

 

All are welcome to view this ancient ritual of compassion and blessing, and get a deeper understanding of the practices behind the 7th Lunar Month.

 

About the Tibetan Buddhist Centre

 

Founded in 2006 under the direction of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist Centre is a non-profit Buddhist cultural centre based in Singapore. They aim to promote a non-sectarian approach to understanding Tibetan Buddhism, culture, history, and traditions.

 

The prayer will be livestreamed on their Facebook page.

3. RoAM Talk Series: Panel Discussion - Demystifying the 7th Lunar Month in Singapore

The Rise of Asia Museum (RoAM) Talk Series is a series of academic talks hosted in Haw Par Villa, ranging in topics from social sciences to history.

 

In the second edition of the talk series, Journeys will organise a panel discussion with subject experts in Buddhism and Taoism, to shed light on an oft-misunderstood practice – the observation of the 7th Lunar Month in Singapore.

 

The event will be held in RoAM, located next to the Culture Courtyard, on Saturday, 18 August 2022, from 6.30pm to 7.45pm.

 

The moderated session will correct misconceptions and provide different perspectives about a very public festival which has a significant impact on Singapore’s cultural religious landscape. Members of the public will also get the chance to pose questions to the panellists.

 

About the Panellists

 

Master Chung Kwang Tong is a Taoist priest of the Quan Zhen Long-men (Dragon Gate) Tradition. Ordained as a Taoist priest in 2003, he is a formal disciple of distinguished Taoist Master Leung Tak Wah and received his higher ordination as a Taoist High Priest in 2009.

Master Chung Kwang Tong is a Taoist priest of the Quan Zhen Long-men (Dragon Gate) Tradition. Ordained as a Taoist priest in 2003, he is a formal disciple of distinguished Taoist Master Leung Tak Wah and received his higher ordination as a Taoist High Priest in 2009.

He is Secretary-General of the Quan Zhen Cultural Society (Singapore) and a life member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore. He is also an external lecturer at the Catholic Saint Francis Xavier Major Seminary and a Master’s graduate of the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore.

 

He is Deputy Executive Director at the Character and Leadership Academy, and sits on several public and people advisory committees.

 

Venerable You Guang

Venerable Shi You Guang is Abbot of Samantabhadra Vihara, and Secretary-General of the Singapore Buddhist Federation.

 

He received Higher Ordination at Tzu Yun Temple in Taiwan. He received both Dharma transmission of Hua-Yen Lineage and Caodong-Zen Lineage.

 

He actively participates and supports inter-faith events and dialogues organised by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, the Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore, and organisations of other faiths, establishing deeper understanding, trust, and respect in the community.

About the Moderator

 

Eisen Teo is Senior Researcher at Singapore History Consultants Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based heritage consultancy and associate company of Journeys Pte Ltd, the management of Haw Par Villa. He is also Chief Curator of Hell’s Museum, the world’s first and only museum dedicated to perspectives of death and the afterlife across civilisations, cultures, and religions.

 

About RoAM Talk Series at Haw Par Villa

RoAM stands for Rise of Asia Museum. It is an up-and-coming museum being conceptualised and developed in Haw Par Villa by Journeys Pte Ltd.

 

RoAM aims to chart the modern rise of Asia and Asian entrepreneurship, and help the world understand the new evolving Asia.

 

As Journeys builds RoAM, it is also organising the RoAM Talk Series. The series comprises talks and panel discussions covering diverse topics such as history, politics, society, and culture. It will provide a platform for local and overseas academics and experts to share their knowledge.

Purchase your tickets for RoAM Talks here!

4. 7th Lunar Month Buddhist - Taoist Unity Prayers

Spirits Festival, combined prayers by Buddhist and Taoist community for the 7th Lunar Month

To commemorate the 7th Lunar Month, Journeys Pte Ltd is organising combined prayers conducted by Buddhist monks and Taoist priests.

 

The prayers will focus on shared values such as compassion, generosity, remembrance, and repentance – values which are emphasised during the 7th Lunar Month.

 

The Unity Prayers will take place on the morning of Saturday, 20 August, from 9.30am to 11am, at the Culture Courtyard.

 

In the spirit of inter-faith unity, this event will bring together Buddhist monks and Taoist priests in one location for 7th Lunar Month prayers – a first for Haw Par Villa and perhaps Singapore.

 

The event will include the following:

  1. Prayers by Buddhist monks

  2. Prayers by Taoist priests

  3. A combined procession with Buddhist monks and Taoist priests past Buddhist and Taoist figures in Haw Par Villa.

 

To deepen understanding and appreciation of the significance of the 7th Lunar Month, the monks and priests will share their thoughts about the meanings of their prayers.

 

All are welcome to witness this meaningful event.

Reserve your place today!

4. Finding Your Tao: A Taoist Trail of Haw Par Villa

In commemoration of the 7th lunar month and the major Taoist elements of Haw Par Villa, JPL will be launching a new self-guided trail, called xxx: A Taoist Trail of Haw Par Villa.

 

This trail will take visitors on an ‘edutainment’ trip around the park to learn about Taoist sculptures and dioramas, discovering a Haw Par Villa they never knew about. 

 

From Saturday, 20 August, the trail can be downloaded for free from Journeys’ Haw Par Villa website: https://www.hawparvilla.sg/tours-trails/

 

Reserve your place today!

Gallery

We’ve created original greeting cards for the Solar New Year. Feel free to download them and send them to family and friends! 

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