Jocelyn Chinese Tuition

Hungry Ghost Festival & The Classics

“Argumentative Writing & The Classics” Series

Good day everyone! Today is our official launch of the series “Argumentative Writing & The Classics”! Please click here to understand the rationale of our series in order to gain more insights and value from reading our content!

Hungry Ghost Festival

For this week’s topic, we would like to bring our discussion to the Hungry Ghost Festival. As we are coming to the end of the Lunar Calendar’s 7th month (Ghost month), burning of incense papers and joss sticks around many neighbourhoods has become a regular sight in Singapore. It is a pity that when presented with the notion of Hungry Ghost Festival or the Ghost month, teenagers are usually either fearful of the supernatural or sceptical towards the superstitions and taboos.



农历七月中元节 Hungry Ghost Festival

Analects of Confucius 论语

Did you know? The Chinese had very similar, or even more elaborated, customs and ceremonies way back in the ancient times (2000-3000 years back)? However, the ancient Chinese’s philosophy/values and rationale towards these customs was definitely insightful and worth learning. For that, let us delve deeper into an extract of the “Analects of Confucius”*.

  • *The Analects of Confucius, is an ancient Chinese book composed of a collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been compiled and written by Confucius’s followers.
Significance of Worship

孔子认为祭拜祖先是“孝” Filial Piety)的体现,而绝对不是因为迷信而祭拜。《论语·八佾》:“祭如在,祭神如神在。”说明了对孔子而言,无论祖先或上天是否在场,祭拜中最重要的是抒发自己那一份真诚感恩的心意。孔子在祭祀过程中不强调外在的迷信,而更注重人内心的真情流露。

According to an extract of the Analects (《论语•八佾》:“祭如在,祭神如神在。”) , Confucius explains that it does not matter whether or not the “heaven/nature” (loosely translated) or the ancestors are present in worship. The significance of these ceremonies and customs is a worshiper’s sincerest appreciation to the “heaven/nature” and the ancestors. Confucius believes that rather than superstitions, these ceremonies and customs are in fact a medium for one’s expression of sincerity to the “heaven” and filial piety to one’s ancestors. In other words, Confucius’ teachings emphasize on the pure virtues and values in the human heart rather than the supernatural and superstitions.

The above highlighted context and the extract from the “Analects of Confucius” are extremely useful as supporting evidence when conveying topics related to “gratitude”, “sincerity” and “filial piety” in your argumentative essays. With some creative modification and also some thinking framework taught by our tuition centre, you could adapt the above context and quote to fit in different essay questions effortlessly!


Applying it in Argumentative Essay​


Point (论点) + Elaboration


Evidence (论据




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