According to Chinese beliefs, the dead rely solely on merit that people make for them and those with no one suffer hunger in the afterlife. The ceremony also is supposed to offset a living individual’s bad deeds with good ones.
Disadvantaged Sattahip residents are thankful to receive rice handed out by Chinese-Thais wishing to brush away their demons.
Narong said the festival is held throughout China and countries that follow the Chinese fork of Buddhism. On festival day, Chinese-Thais invite monks to perform the ritual. Those living in far-flung regions where monks cannot visit get food and prayers packaged up for them.
About 3,000 poor, elderly and disabled people lined up to receive donations of a 5kg bag of rice and a sack of dried food. In return, they were simply asked to pray for the souls of the departed.