Ullambana is a Buddhist festival that is also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival. It is celebrated in several countries, including China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, and is based on the Buddhist legend of Maudgalyayana, a disciple of the Buddha. Along with other countries above Malaysia & India, too celebrate Ullambana. The festival is the time when, it is believed, the Gates of the Hell open and the dead are allowed to pay a visit to their loved ones on earth. Because of this, on this day, the Buddhists make offerings to the deads and perform charitable deeds so as to gain spiritual merit. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.
According to the legend, Maudgalyayana used his supernatural powers to see his deceased mother suffering in the realm of hungry ghosts. He asked the Buddha how he could alleviate her suffering, and the Buddha instructed him to make offerings of food and other items to Buddhist monks and nuns.
The Ullambana festival is therefore a time for Buddhists to make offerings to the Sangha, or the community of Buddhist monks and nuns. It is believed that by doing so, they can help alleviate the suffering of their deceased ancestors and other beings in the realm of hungry ghosts.
Overall, the Ullambana festival is a time for Buddhists to remember their ancestors, to make offerings to the Sangha, and to cultivate compassion and generosity. It is an important opportunity to connect with Buddhist teachings and to deepen one's spiritual practice.