It's Ghost Month!!!! OOoooooooOOOh! SpoooOOOOooky!
The 7th month of the Lunar calendar is officially Ghost Month or 鬼月, when the doors of those other ethereal realms swing open and all the inmate ghosts are allowed vacation time, roaming freely as they wish. Since they can suck on your soul, possess you or maybe just muck up your finances, there is a looooooong list of precautions/taboos one is to follow if they're to avert certain doom:
- no buying, selling your house or moving
- no getting married
- no changing jobs
- no whistling, especially at night
- no going near water, especially at night
- no playing flute and wind bells at night
- no travelling
- no revealing addresses to ghosts, eg. publicizing location of events too early on
There is also an increase in both frequency and amount of rituals, such as offering food and incense, as well as burning hell bank notes, fireworks, and having parades with loud cacophonous music.
Here is a typical offering table and urn for burning ghost money, in front of our neighborhood restaurant:
And here are some photos and a video of the purportedly mafia-run temple parades I happened upon during my camp days in Xinzhu (aka Hsinchu 新竹). The idea is to chase off the vagabond ghosts. Enjoy and remember, don't do anything rash like whistling until August 28th.
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