Kowloon City Stories / Culture

Yu Lan Festival

The big decoration at Yu Lan Festival in Kowloon City
The Stage for Ghost Master with its paper craft figure
Chanting ceremony during Yu Lan Festival
Yu Lan Festival

If you’re visiting Kowloon City in the seventh lunar month, you won’t want to miss the remarkable Yu Lan Festival – the city’s intangible cultural heritage, which is annually held by Chiu Chow community in Hong Kong.

Yu Lan Festival runs for the entire seventh lunar month is one of the most historic and popular festivals in Hong Kong. More than a century ago, Chiu Chow community came to Hong Kong from Mainland as hard labours. While being far away from home leading a tough life, the highly connected fellowmen hosted Yu Lan Festival with their authentic customs in Hong Kong. The Festival’s origin is intrinsically linked to the Chinese practice of ancestors and goddess worship, but behind the rituals it is also suffused with value of filial piety.

Kowloon City was strongly bonded by Chiu Chow community for decades. During the seventh lunar month every year, Kowloon City Chiu Kiu Yue Lan Association organizes large-scale celebration. The historic celebration of the Chiu Chow community was officially listed as Hong Kong intangible cultural heritage in 2014.

At the scene of Yu Lan Festival, you will see some of the city’s living culture in action, such as offerings for ancestors and wandering ghosts, burning Ghost Master, putting on live Chiu Chow operas and distributing free rice.

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