Hellfire on Earth?
Frankly speaking, the Chinese lunar 7th month is a month of 'burning hell on Earth' in Singapore. Chinese folks will start buying joss paper and candles, to make offerings to hungry ghosts or deceased relatives. And supposedly, these paper-made materials will transform magically into usable items in the nether world. Interesting idea, but rather illogical though.
During this month chinese lunar 7th month, a few companies along Ubi Cresent will have offering sessions outside their offices. Needless to say, there is a lot of burning to do, thus resulting in patches of burnt plants or grass everywhere, and ashes blown by occassional winds, which make the entire road messy and suffocating. The question I never fail to wonder, why on the grass? Why not use a proper burning bin with a lid?
The picture shows a patch of burnt plants caused by an intensive fire at the opposite side of the pavement. What is left at the actual burning site is burnt grass with paper ashes. These plants and grass often take months to recover, and what lies ahead is yet another round of the burning session.
I have nothing against some folk customs, but in this age, burning joss paper and candles? Some innovative ideas should have been proposed and followed by now. Why not just burn one credit card or blank cheque? What's worse is that the burners have no regard of the environment at all. Barren grass and heaps of ashes can be seen almost everywhere in the heartlands, strewn with joss-sticks ends and candle wax on the pavement and grass. And these folks never seem to clean up the mess they make. If with goodwill they offered the unfortunate deceased with paper 'goodies', please spare those who are still breathing and in need of a pollution-free environment too.
If you have to make offerings, why not go to temples where they have special facilities to accommodate such activities? Spare the already deteoriating environment. Stop adding to the heatwave of global warming!