Ghosts in Chinese culture
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
There are many references to ghosts in Chinese culture. Even Confucius said, "Respect ghosts and gods, but keep away from them."
The ghosts take many forms depending on the way in which the person died, and are often harmful. Many of the Chinese ghost beliefs have been accepted by neighboring cultures, notably Japan and south-east Asia. Ghost beliefs are closely associated with the traditional Chinese religion based on ancestor worship, many of which were incorporated in Taoism. Later beliefs were influenced by Buddhism, and in turn influenced and created uniquely Chinese Buddhist beliefs.
Many Chinese people today consider that it is possible to contact the spirits of their ancestors through a medium, and that the ancestor can help their descendants if properly respected and rewarded. The annual ghost festival is celebrated by Chinese around the world. On this day ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Ghosts are described in classical Chinese texts, and continue to be depicted in modern literature and movies.
- Buddhism in China
- Chinese folk religion
- Culture of China
- Ancestor veneration in China
- Chinese spiritual world concepts
- List of supernatural beings in Chinese folklore
- Hungry ghosts in Chinese religion
- Chinese mythology
- Religion in China