The Spirits' Happy Days Buddhist Festivals for the Dead in Southeast China



In China it is said that at the beginning of the seventh lunar month King Yama opens the gates of the underworld to release the spirits of the dead. During this Ghost Month the spirits are free to roam the earth and to receive offerings from the living. During this month Buddhist monasteries hold public recitation rituals in which the resulting merit is transferred to the ancestors, dead family relatives, and other dead beings in the monasteries’ Halls of Rebirth. This film documents the large scale ceremonies and rituals that take place during the Ghost Month in the Buddhist monasteries of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, Southeast China. This film is part of the research project Buddhist Death Rituals of Southeast Asia and China (University of Bristol) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom). A film by Ingmar Heise and Han Zhang.
Date made available18 Jun 2013
PublisherUniversity of Bristol


  • Mahayana Buddhism
  • China
  • Southeast China
  • Festivals for the dead
  • Buddhism

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