A long time tradition in Chinese and Vietnamese ancestor worship 鬼法界, and Taoism is "the realm of hungry ghosts." Villagers believed that ghosts return to earth during Ghost Month. They are hungry, ready to take what they find of food and wine offerings, especially if they are not given offerings by their living relatives.
Celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival is about looking after wandering, unfortunate souls. Discontented spirits are without families or have died because of unfortunate events like the pandemic. With the number of lonely people in the world, this theme resonates today more than ever.
During Ghost Month, families placate unhappy spirits with gifts of food, wine, incense, and they burn symbolic paper money. The month culminates with the Hungry Ghost Feast on the evening of the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, when the worlds of the living and dead are most closely linked. This year that day falls on September 2nd when families will get together (wearing masks) to eat traditional foods, drink wines and generally have a good time. Here are some suggestions for your Hungry Ghost Feast.
Ghosts love flower scents and this fine wine is no exception:
Orin Swift Slander Pinot Noir St Helena California 2017 blends complex aromatics of ripe cherries and dried rose petals, and a hint of alpine forest with sweet strawberries, cranberries, and traces of rhubarb. The finish is toasted brioche, a dash of caramel and fresh raspberries.
White wine lovers will appreciate: Epoch Estate White Blend 2018
“Ripe green and yellow melon, wet rock, white pineapple and baking spices on the nose make your mouth water, begging for a taste. Yellow peaches, fresh cream and lemon are laced through with crushed rock and delicate texture.”
Improve the health and beauty of ghosts with this rare delicacy:
Golden Abalone Mexican Abalone (15 oz) Abalone (marine snail), fresh and oily, are extremely delicious and nutritious. Abalone clears inflammation and improves eyesight--the better to show ghosts the way back home to the underworld.
Add sparkle to the evening with Bouvet Brut Sparkling Wine produced from a blend of Chenin Blanc and a smaller percentage of Chardonnay grapes grown in the chalky limestone "tuffeau" soils characteristic of the Saumur appellation.
Urge ghosts along their way with an energizing snack:
Unique Canadian Ginseng Candy/ Bonbon made with Sugar, Corn Syrup, and Ginseng Powder.Does your feast give ghosts indigestion? They may not be used to elegant cuisine. Here is a great digestive: Wanglaoji Bao Ji Wan (20 b/box) to help ease stomach aches, indigestion, and the stomach flu made with fragrant herbs and tangerine peel.