The Hungry Ghost Festival – The Chinese Halloween – Part 2/2

I found it interesting that the dead linked both America’s Halloween and the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival — at least historically.

As a child growing up in America, I loved wearing a costume on Halloween and going out “trick-or-treating” at night to return home with a heavy bag (usually a pillowcase) filled with candy.

I still remember how much my stomach hurt and how horrible I felt after gorging myself on all that free candy.

Today, due to the epidemic of diabetes and overweight or obese children in the United States, I do not celebrate Halloween and do not give candy to children. The last time I gave treats to children on Halloween, I handed out small boxes of raisins (sweet dried grapes) instead of candy, and one mother called me cheap.

However, in my defense, Science says, “Teenagers who consume a lot of added sugars in soft drinks and foods may have poor cholesterol profiles — which may possibly lead to heart disease in adulthood, according to first-of-its-kind research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.”

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Teenagers and young adults consume more sugar drinks than other age groups and have been linked to poor diet quality, weight gain, obesity, and, in adults and children, type 2 diabetes.”

Then the Mayo Clinic says, “Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise, fueled largely by the obesity epidemic,” and the American Diabetes Association says, “25.8 million children and adults in the US have diabetes while 79 million have prediabetes.

Americans are Addicted to Sugars

“Due to excessive sugar consumption, the risk of diabetes may lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease, and/or amputation of feet and legs.”

America could learn something from the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. Do not feed sugar-loaded candy to children on Halloween.  Instead, give the sugar to the dead and go eat an apple.

Return to The Hungry Ghost Festival – The Chinese Halloween – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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One Response to The Hungry Ghost Festival – The Chinese Halloween – Part 2/2

  1. merlin says:

    Sugar. I think America is the one major producer of High Fructose Corn Syrup. What also strikes me as sad is practically everything in our diet is sugar. We americans have become so accustomed to consuming sugar in our diets that anything without sugar tastes dull and not worth eating.

    It’s the same thing with Mcdonalds french fries. It’s not the potatoes that sell the product, but instead the salt and frying oil. It is also these same products that raise cholesterol, gunk up the arteries, and eventually cause multiple heart attacks before death.

    A few local organizations in my hometown are taking a surprising twist on the Trick-or-Treat front. For every 1 lb bag of candy kids bring in within 3 days of Halloween, the organization will give them 2 USD in cash. The money can go to better “gifts” rather than the lb of sugar. The organizations then take the candy and distribute it among the soldiers stationed in the middle east to send holiday cheer. Although I still dont understand how passing out candy to troops is any help since most I know in the service would rather go for a cold beer and a smoke than a sugary snicker bar.

    A better way to celebrate Halloween might be to pass out quarters and small money so the kids can buy ANY gift they want rather than be stuck with a plastic bucket full of M&Ms. I believe a new toy, videogame, or even saving for future college tuiton might be a better alternative than candy. Actually, China uses money to celebrate events. People give red envelopes of cash on Spring Festival (New Year), burn cash for funerals, and send money for birthdays and graduation.

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