Do you believe in the ghost month? According to Chinese folk legend, the seventh lunar month is the ghost month. The gates of hell are supposed to be open so bad spirits roam the world of the living. So for 2021, the first lunar day falls on August 8. It will end on September 6, 2021. The Chinese Ghost Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th Lunar day, is set on August 22. 2021.
Relatives of deceased loved ones offer prayers, together with some food and drinks not just to the deceased but to the guardians of hell. Monks and priests alike offer rituals as well.
Things to Avoid During Ghost Month
Generally, believers are not supposed to put themselves at risk during the ghost month. It is considered an inauspicious period for believers for people in East and Southeast Asia especially Buddhist and Taoist devotees.
Major decisions are generally not done during this time. Examples of major decisions include the following:
- Getting married
- Buying a house
- Changing jobs
- Signing contracts
- Having a major operation
- Starting a business
It is not just the major things or decisions that believers avoid, they also refrain from doing minor things such as the following:
- Roaming alone at night is also not done. It is believed that spirits will follow you back if you roam around at night.
- Taking photos at night is also a no, no. You might capture images that you don’t want to see if you take photos at night.
- Loitering around dark, shaded areas because spirits prefer dark corners.
- Avoiding nature activities such as trekking, camping or hiking because spirits tend to roam around trees.
- Ignoring strange things such as hearing unfamiliar voices calling your name or when you feel a sudden chill.
- Refraining from using red or black clothing. Spirits are said to be attracted to red and black.
Just remember, if you believe it to be true, it is true. If you believe that it is not true, then it is not true.
What you believe and focus on becomes your reality.Micheal McMillian
But whether you believe in it or not, learn to respect the culture. Do not touch or step over makeshift altars or roadside offerings if you see one. If done by accident, apologize.
Revised version. First Published in Pinoy Smart Living on 08.10.2018