The 7th lunar month (August 7 ~ September 4th in 2013) is known in Taiwan as Ghost month. During this month the lost souls of the deceased are allowed to come back to the world of the living, and they are greeted by the people with elaborate offerings at temples and a wide variety of traditional-style entertainment. Probably the best place to witness these activities is the harbor city of Keelung northeast of Taipei. The offerings and sacrifices for the ghosts (commonly named “good brethren” in Chinese) have been staged in Keelung for more than 150 years. The highlight of the festival is the release of water lanterns of various shapes, for example ships, houses, and temples. They are first paraded around the city on floats, with each of the floats having a plaque with the name of the family which has provided the lantern. Released into the sea the lanterns are believed to be guiding lights for water ghosts, showing them the way to the offerings on land.

Dates: August 7 ~ September 5

Location: Laodagong Temple (老大公廟) and other places in Keelung

Tel: (02) 2422-4170