The Zhong Yuan Festival in Taoism or Yu Lan Pen Festival in Buddhism, often called the "Hungry Ghost Festival", is a traditional event in certain East Asian countries. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Hungry Ghost Festival is on the 15th of the seventh month.
In Chinese culture, the Seventh Month is regarded as the time when spirits, including those of deceased ancestors, leave the lower realm (hell) to spend a month in the human realm. Distinct from both the Qing Ming Festival (or Tomb Sweeping Day in spring) and Double Ninth Festival (in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, during the Seventh Month, worship activities are targetted at both the ancestors and wandering spirits.
On the fifteenth day of the Seventh Month, both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Seventh Month is the veneration of the dead, including both one's ancestors and wandering spirits. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, offering incense, burning joss paper, and burning a papier-mâché forms of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors.