Yu Lan Ghost Festival is an important custom practised by the Chiu Chow community residing in various districts of the territory. As an important occasion for worshipping their ancestors on one hand, while appeasing wandering spirits from the underworld on the other, the festival helps building up a closer relationship among the Chiu Chow people, and plays a key role in connecting and consolidating the Chiu Chow community.
Yu Lan Ghost Festival is traditionally celebrated in the seventh lunar month of each year. Many of the Chiu Chow communities have to secure public venues for celebrating the festival. The Government has developed policies on venue allocation and issued guidelines for organising the activities, in order to distribute the venues to the organisers and minimise the impact of celebration activities on the living environment of local residents.
Although the scale of activities and specific arrangements of Yu Lan Ghost Festival may vary from district to district, similarities in their practice of rituals can still be found. For instance, as Shengong operas are performed for the deities, the opera stage should be set facing the deity altar. Apart from Shengong opera performance which has all along been popular among different age groups, other traditions include burning paper offerings, staging street parades and giving away auspicious rice.