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Ghost Month is finally here, at least in (places with) Chinese traditions, which is around 2 months earlier from the usual Western halloween.
And in this video, we're going to talk about 9 Do's and Don'ts on a Ghost Month.
But before that, what is Ghost Month?
Almost similar to Western halloween, during ghost month, it is believed that the gate of hell opens.
Particularly on the first day of the seventh lunar month for private homes, and on the second day of ghost month for public places like shrines and government offices.
Since we're referring to (the) Chinese calendar here with Chinese New Year often occurring on mid-February, that means the seventh lunar month is around August to September.
For 2019, it's from August 1 to August 29, with Ghost Festival or Zhongyuan Festival happening on August 15, 2019.
According to Chinese traditions, it is believed that anyone who has done a lot of misdeeds here on Earth go to hell while those who have died accidentally become ghosts that wander around here instead of transgressing to the next life.
Therefore, holding a sacrifice for these sinful and wandering spirits, like offering a good meal or preparing some fruits and desserts while praying for them.
And burning joss paper or ghost money at the side of the road would help them escape from hell early and also prevent them from disturbing the living.
Aside from holding sacrifices and having a festival for these spirits, here's a quick rundown of some Do's and Don'ts during a Ghost Month.
Number one: avoid going out at night, especially if you're alone.
This rule mostly applies to children, senior citizens, pregnant women and highly sensitive people because they might get targeted easily by evil spirits and risk being possessed.
Ghosts in general are at their strongest during night time because of the "yin" energy from the Moon.
Since the gates of hell are open during ghost month, your chances of bumping into these spirits are the highest during this time of the year.
Number two: Don't stand waiting alone under a tree or bus stop late at night.
This is connected to number one earlier, and since these spirits are highly active at night time, you might risk getting followed by them on your way home.
Number three: Stay quiet at night.
It's not only disrespectful for the living who wants to sleep.
Whistling at night, or making any high frequency sounds like playing the lyre late at night during this month draws the spirits' attention to you and may come to you.
Number four: Avoid any body of water during this month.
Best to plan your travels that involve taking a ship or plane in another month.
Also avoid any water-related activities to avoid mishaps caused by water ghosts.
Just like the night and other dark places, spirits like water because of its "yin" environment.
You might risk encountering mischievous water spirits that may drag the living into the water to replace them.
So they can leave their current limbo state and reincarnate into a new life.
Number five: Turn your whole body, and not just your head if someone calls you at night.
Same thing if someone taps on your shoulder at night.
I mean, randomly hearing your name being called or being tapped at during the dark at night is surely spooky.
You can do yourself a favor, and just ignore them.
If you must, instead of turning your head which creates an imbalance in your body's yin and yang energy making you more vulnerable.
Turn your whole body when someone calls you from the back.
Number six: Be aware of what you wear.
Don't wear bright red or black clothes.
These clothes attract spirits.
Also avoid wearing clothes with your name on it like school jerseys and such to avoid risking number five earlier.
Also stick to flats for now and avoid high heeled shoes because being constantly elevated from the ground makes your feet vulnerable and open for ghosts to possess you.
Number seven: Avoid playing supernatural games.
This is self-explanatory.
Spirits, like the living, crave interaction and will grab any opportunity presented to them.
Don't invite them to come and talk to you unless you 100% want that to happen.
Number eight: Don't pick up random interesting things on the road.
These items are usually considered "road toll" for the nice ghosts or good brothers.
Same thing goes for joss paper and red envelopes.
If you pick them up, the ghosts may get angry at you for stealing what's supposed to be theirs.
Number nine: Feel free to use personal items as protection.
Whether it's a special crystal bracelet, salt or salt water, amulet, glutinous rice or prayer beads, use them if they help you feel at ease.
If you don't believe in them, that's also fine, as long as we all stay respectful of other people's beliefs and traditions.
So these are just some of the usual Do's and Don'ts during Ghost Month.
There are still others but let's talk about them some other time.
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Ghost Month Do's and Don'ts

1816 Folder Collection
Annie Huang published on July 8, 2020    Annie Huang translated    adam reviewed
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