The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is the month to show gratitude to our ancestors. Dharma activities are held at the temple to provide an opportunity for all devotees to transfer merits and show gratitude to their ancestors and all sentient beings. Activities include chanting the Earth Treasure Sutra, lighting gratitude lamps, praying for our ancestors to be reborn into the Western Pure Land, and praying for for ourselves and our families to have good health, wisdom and emotional well-being. This is a superb opportunity and all are welcome to partake.
This ceremony originated from the Song Dynasty. During the ceremony, a Dharma platform stands in the middle of the hall. Flowers, fruits, incense, white rice and clean water are placed onto it to make offerings to all homeless souls in the ten Dharma worlds and six realms. Opposite the Dharma platform, another platform is placed for the homeless souls. It allows the ghosts to come forward to pay respect to the Buddha, listen to the Dharma and accept the offerings. Thus, they can reduce their unwholesome karma and also gain great benefits.