Hungry Ghost Festival

An ancient scroll of the Hungry Ghost Festival

 If the west celebrates Halloween, the Chinese also has an eastern version and it is the Hungry Ghost Festival (or simply Ghost Festival). In the lunar calendar the festival falls on the 7th moon and is commonly called as the ghost month. There is a debate on where the festival had originated. For Buddhists and Taoists in China, they claim that the festival is from the scriptures of Buddhism as to which Buddha tells that the gates of hell are opened. Others claim that it is mostly from Chinese folklore, traditions and other folk religions.  

During the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Chinese family gathers all together and serves a lot of food and other offerings for the hungry ghosts so that the ghosts would not bring the family bad luck. There are a lot of superstitions during the ghost month since it is believed that ghosts (and they’re hungry) are freely wandering the living world. One superstition is that when it is already late at night and you’re walking alone, then somebody calls your name from behind, you should not look back because it is believed that the one calling you is a ghost. 

A ghost coming back for those who have owed him when he was still alive

 Other superstitions during the Hungry Ghost Festival:
  1. Do not wear anything black so that ghost will not come close to you.
  2. Do not wear anything that has a bell on it. Example, bracelet or charms with bells. Bells attract ghost.
  3. Do not hang out your clothes at night. New ghost that are being blown onto your clothes will not be able to come out. Wearing these clothes will not be good for you.
  4. All clothing should be kept inside the house before 5pm.
  5. Umbrellas should be kept close and outside the house. No umbrellas should be kept inside the house.
  6. Do not go out at night.
  7. No swimming during the 7th month. The water ghosts will pull you into the water.
  8. Do not go to the beach on the 7th month.
  9. Do not let anyone pad on your shoulder. If someone does that to you, do not turn and look.
  10. You should not whistle, sing or scream during the 7th month. You will attract ghost.
  11. No wedding/engagement preparation during the 7th month. Of course, no wedding and engagement to be held on the 7th month.
  12. Do not buy any property, do any renovation, or move your house during the 7th month.
  13. Do not step or cross over ashes and offering for the ghost.
  14. Do not comment/complain/feedback on the smell or burnt incense paper flying all over the place.
  15. Do not travel oversea during the 7th month.


Journeymart said...

The netherworld paroles its Taiwanese incumbents for a whole month.

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