The gates shall open, and souls shall roam. The unseen shall pass by, and it is the time we are never truly alone.
In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the seventh month is known as the Ghost Month. This year’s ghost month begins on August 16 and ends on September 14. Asian people believe that during this month, spirits will roam freely as they look for appeasement. The ghosts look for food and prayers, and some even look for trouble, which leads to bad luck.
So, what do people need to know about Ghost month? What can we do to keep the bad luck out? Let’s find out.
Honoring the Spirits
Ghost Month is celebrated to honor the spirits and to show respect to those who have passed. During the whole month, there are different rituals, performances, and offerings.
Here are what you can do to keep the bad luck out and appease the spirits.
Pray for the spirits.
Prayer is a powerful thing. Sometimes, these roaming spirits are in need of prayers. Pray for them at church or a temple, or even at home.
Burn candles to light their way.
Most of the time, these spirits need a light that guides them to wherever they are going. If you have incense, it’s also another way to light a path for them.
Burn Paper Money
It’s part of Chinese tradition to burn paper money for the dead. Burning paper money is said to give the ghost wealth in the afterlife. Aside from paper money, you can also burn paper cars or even paper houses.
Keep the lights on.
Ghosts, being ghosts, will lurk in the dark. This is why it is best if you keep your house well-lit with bright light. There is also a belief that bright lights can prevent spirits from haunting you.
Avoid Yin Colors
Dark colors attract Hungry Ghosts. So, avoid black, white, dark blue, and other dark colors. For this month, make sure you wear something red, yellow, and other clothing that are bright.
Use Salt for purification.
Salt is good for purification, which is why it is a good idea to put rock salt on your doors and windows to prevent ghosts from entering and haunting your house.
Offer food to Spirits.
Leave food offerings outside your doors. You may offer different treats for the Hungry Ghosts, such as rice, fruits, meat, and sweets. You can even give them liquor.
Avoid Holding Weddings
If you want to live happily ever after, avoid getting married during Ghost month. This is because ghosts can put curses or give bad luck to you and your marriage life.
Avoid Starting a Business during this month.
Once again, ghosts sometimes cause mischief, which can impact your business. Launching projects and taking huge risks must be avoided during Ghost Month.
Don’t hang clothes outside at night.
From shirts to shorts, do not leave them out at night. The ghosts may claim the clothes and attach themselves to it. Once they attach themselves to the clothes, they will attach themselves to the wearer.
Yes, we all have our own beliefs and traditions— Ghost Month is also something that’s been passed down from one generation to another. It wouldn’t hurt to respect different people’s traditions. Moreover, it’s not bad to be careful and superstitious.
Remembering the dead is one way to show our loved ones who have passed that they are remembered. And remember, not all ghosts haunt to inflict harm or misfortune; some of them just miss the life that they had before crossing to the afterlife.