There’s an icky burning smell in the air, and I’m pretty sure it’s not the return of the haze. Tonight is the last night of the Hungry Ghost Festival, and there are fires burning all over Singapore. People are setting fire to stacks upon stacks of “hell money,” as my Uber driver called it, working to appease and please the ancestor spirits.
As you can see, this means that there is lots of litter — sacrificed joss paper, candles, flags, oranges, cakes, cookies, dried roots, entire dinners, even beer cans — all over the place. People are supposed to burn the piles of fake money in incinerators provided by the government, but they don’t always follow the rules:
Prescott calls that particular sacrifice a “stormwater disaster.” He was wholly appalled by it.
The Mid-Autumn Festival comes next in the lunar calendar — bring on the moon cakes and the lanterns!
On an entirely unrelated note, we had Thai food for dinner tonight, and the only rice on offer was blue jasmine rice. I thought it was worth noting just because I’m pretty sure rice should not be this color:
Food should also not be that spicy, but you know it’s real Thai food when you leave with your mouth on fire.