Spirited away: Singapore’s Hungry Ghost Festival and its impact on property and lifestyle

In Singapore, August isn’t just about National Day fireworks; it’s also when the ‘residents from the other side’ join the living. The Hungry Ghost Festival, or Zhong Yuan Jie, is a time-honoured tradition, and it has a surprising influence on Singapore’s property and real estate scene. Let’s unravel this ghostly tale!

The ghostly tenants of Singapore: Understanding the Hungry Ghost Festival

The Hungry Ghost Festival is when the gates of the underworld open, and spirits roam freely. Think of them as Singapore’s unseen tenants for a month, and they don’t even pay rent! This festival is deeply rooted in Taoist and Buddhist traditions, involving rituals to appease these transient visitors.

Burning cash, not calories: The offerings that fuel the festival

From paper money to miniature cars, the offerings burnt during this festival are as diverse as Singapore’s property portfolio. It’s like saying, “Dear Ghosts, here’s your dream condo and a BMW to match!” These offerings are believed to provide comfort to the spirits in the afterlife.

Location, location, location: Where spirits prefer to reside

Ever heard that certain properties are ‘unlucky’? During the Ghost Month, some areas, especially those near cemeteries or with a tragic history, are believed to be spirit hotspots. It’s like the ghosts are picky tenants, preferring places with a ‘vintage’ vibe. And guess what? These beliefs can affect property prices!

Feng Shui and real estate: Making peace with your paranormal roommates

When your home is doubling as a ghostly Airbnb, Feng Shui becomes your new best friend. From arranging furniture to avoid ‘spiritual confrontation’ to placing salt in corners, Feng Shui is the interior design guide for appeasing your ghostly guests. After all, a happy ghost is a quiet neighbour.

Noisy neighbours? How the festival influences Singaporean lifestyle

hungry ghost festival in singapore
(Image credit: CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Hungry Ghost Festival isn’t just a quiet affair. With nightly Getai shows (live stage performances), the spirits—and the living—have a rollicking good time. Think of it as the ghosts throwing a month-long housewarming party. And you thought your neighbours were loud!

The ghost month taboos: A survival guide for property owners

Moving into a new house this month? Think again! It’s widely believed that major life changes, like property transactions, are best avoided during the Ghost Month. Our survival guide? Lay low, avoid late-night outings, and whatever you do, don’t whistle at night—you might just attract some unwanted attention.

The silver lining: How the ghost month can be a boon for bargain hunters

For the brave (or sceptical), the Ghost Month can be prime time for property hunting. With demand taking a dip, it’s not uncommon to find properties at a ‘spiritual discount’. It’s Singapore’s most ‘supernatural’ sale season, where the brave reap the rewards!


The Hungry Ghost Festival is more than a cultural event; it’s a unique blend of tradition, superstition, and modern living that only Singapore could pull off so elegantly. For one month a year, Singapore’s property market has some ‘extra’ stakeholders to consider. So, the next time you sense a chill in the air, it might just be your ghostly tenant saying hello!

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