Origin: Chinese – The 7th month of the Lunar calendar is a month that celebrates Hungry Ghost Festival.
This is a festival observed by Singaporean Chinese. The belief is that spirits will emerge when the gates of the netherworld are opened during this period. The Chinese in Singapore will partake in a series of events which include burning of offerings (incense, joss paper, hell notes, paper house, paper car, necessities, etc) for their departed relatives.
Some will participate/attend night performances in the form of “Getai” where songs and opera will be performed for both the dead and living. The front row will be kept empty as it is meant for the dead.
Ah Beng: “John!!! Be careful!! Don’t step on the offerings on the floor! Now 7th Month!!!
John: “Alamak!! Sorry sorry I didn’t mean to step on your offerings, sorry sorry. Let me cross, let me cross… (借过。。借过。。)
Ah Beng: “Wait a minute, John, aren’t you a Christian?? How come you also believe in this??
John: “I am a Chinese after all and it is also a form of respect to other beliefs; and of course it is better to be safe than sorry….”