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Ghost fashion show puts new spirit into Chinese festival

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 01:17

A spooky funeral fashion show in Hong Kong aims to celebrate China’s Hungry Ghost Festival in a new way. Tara Cleary reports.

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China's annual Hungry Ghost festival takes place on the day when the gates of hell are believed to open, sending phantoms into the world of the living. So, people burn incense on the streets and offer money and food to fend off evil spirits. A youth opera troupe chose to entertain not only Hong Kong residents, but also the visiting souls, says the group's head, Wang Yaobo. SOUNDBITE: Wang Yaobo, head of Jieyang City Youth Chiu Chow Opera Troupe, saying (Mandarin): "This is for humans and ghosts. Ghosts know about this festival, so they come and watch the show. And people come and watch it too." Even though offerings are made, talking directly about the ghosts is frowned on. But not for this group of fashionistas, who challenged the taboo by staging a funeral fashion show. Organizer Catherine Lui explains. SOUNDBITE: Catherine Lui, organizer, saying (English): "I want to give others a new angle to see the whole thing. Or maybe to get the young people involved in the very traditional festival." The half-hour show, which aims to bring some fun and humor to the festival, took three months to organize and cost around $130,000 U.S. dollars.

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Ghost fashion show puts new spirit into Chinese festival

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 01:17