It is the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. During the 7th lunar ghost month, it is believed that the spirits from hell return for a visit.
As they move around in our world, the Chinese have advice on what to do and not to do during this time. Today, let’s discuss about 22 Things Not To Do During Hungry Ghost Festival (Ghost Month).
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Watch: 22 Things Not To Do During Hungry Ghost Festival (Ghost Month)
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What Are the 22 Things Not To Do During Hungry Ghost Festival (Ghost Month)?
1. Do Not Sit In The Front Row At Performances
During the Hungry Ghost Festival, there are many places that hold street performances like Chinese Opera, and concert-like stage shows called Getai. In front of the stage, there are seats for guests to sit and watch the performances.
These shows are specially organized to entertain the ghosts. As such, do not sit in the front row of these seats. They are reserved for the ghosts.
Even if the rest of the seats are taken, do not sit there. Stand and watch the shows.
2. Do Not Sit On Or Lean Against The Offering Tables
The offerings on these tables are for the ghosts. The food and drinks are laid there for them to consume. As such, it is believed that many ghosts are always around the tables enjoying the feast.
If you are enjoying a feast, would you like it when someone sits on the very table you are eating? You wouldn’t, right? It is the same for the ghosts.
They wouldn’t like it either. And they may do something bad to anyone who does that.
3. Do Not Look Under The Altar
During the festival, there will be places set up with tents for prayers and offerings for the ghosts. There are altars set up within these sites.
When you see these altars, do not look under it. As with the above point, there can be ghosts hanging around there.
And they do not like to be disturbed. If you sneak a peek, they can be annoyed. And they can create trouble for you.
4. Do Not Disturb Offerings Along the Roadside
In Singapore, during the ghost month, you can see offerings placed on the roadside. These are also for the ghosts. So, don’t disturb these offerings.
For example, do not touch or kick them. If you did it accidentally, just apologize.
I have accidentally stepped on one of these offerings before. Quickly, I look at the offerings area, and say sorry.
5. See, Smell or Hear Something Strange? Ignore It
When you see something strange placed somewhere. For example, a strange looking coin on the pathway. Please ignore it. Do not pick it up.
The Chinese believe that these things may belong to a ghost. When you take it with you, the ghost follows you.
Also, if you suddenly smell something in the air, a horrible smell or even a fragrant one, please ignore it. It is said that these smells indicate the presence of a ghost. When you acknowledge the scent, the ghost is alerted to you.
The same with strange sounds. For example, if you hear someone sobbing at night. Or someone calling your name when there is no one there. Ignore these sounds.
6. Do Not Panic When You Feel a Chill
If you suddenly feel a chill, do not react. And especially do not panic. Just ignore it.
If you are walking home, continue to walk home. If you are answering emails on your laptop at home, keep typing.
7. Do Not Stay Out Late
When I was young, I was advised by my elders to not go out at night.
It is believed that ghosts are attracted to children. This applies to unborn children too. So, women who are expecting are often advised not to go out too late at night.
I shared a story where a ghost went after a young boy. You can read that true ghost story when you click on the image below.
8. Do Not Stand Under a Tree or Bus Stop
Why a tree or a bus stop? Well, basically ghosts like to hang around in quiet and dark places.
So, not just trees and bus stops. Do not stand or hang around any places where it is quiet and dark. You wouldn’t want to attract their attention.
9. No Water-Related Activities
There are water spirits that roam the waters. And there are those that attack anyone they are attracted to.
Some Chinese believe that these water spirits attack people so that when the person dies, he or she will replace them. And, they can finally be reincarnated.
It is not just about not going swimming. Some Chinese go as far as to avoid traveling on ships or ferries during this time.
10. Do Not Wear Red
Ghosts are attracted to the color, red. So, try not to wear any clothing that is bright red in color.
A small bag or wallet is ok. But not a top or bottom, or a whole outfit, or a dress.
11. Do Not Tap Shoulders
It is believed that the shoulders (and also the top of our heads) have a bright light. Some call them torches of fire.
When someone taps on these areas, it is believed that these torches are extinguished for a while. When it is extinguished, the person is vulnerable to the supernatural.
During the ghost month, the person would be vulnerable to haunting or attack by a ghost.
12. Do Not Cover Your Forehead
I heard about this when I was a young boy. A friend of mine told me that we should not cover our foreheads.
He said that there is energy at our foreheads. This shines brightly and keeps the ghosts away.
13. Do Not Take Photos At Night
Have you seen those YouTube videos or social media posts where people took photos at night? And when they look at the photo taken later, they see an entity in the photo?
This is the reason why it is best to not take photos at night during the ghost month. With more ghosts around, you don’t want to take the risk.
14. Do Not Place Your Slippers Towards the Bed
If you wear slippers, then do not point them towards your bed when you rest at night. Some believe that ghosts like to wear slippers left around.
And placing them towards your bed is like inviting the ghost to wear the slippers and walk towards your bed. What happens after that is not something you may enjoy.
15. Do Not Whistle At Night
When I was a young boy, when I first discovered how to whistle, I enjoyed it so much. I would even whistle a tune at night.
That was until my Mom cautioned me that whistling at night attracts ghosts. Regardless of whether it is ghost month or not. Of course, during ghost month, there are more ghosts around.
16. Do Not Grab A Stray Umbrella
It is said that some ghosts like to hide in umbrellas. So, it is advised not to grab any stray umbrellas that you see around you. Even if it is pouring rain.
Better to have your own umbrella. After all, you wouldn’t want to carry the ghost in the umbrella home, right?
17. Do Not Get Married
Not during the ghost month. This is why there is a significant drop in the number of weddings during this time.
It is believed that getting married during the ghost month can bring bad luck to the newly wed couple. Or worse, if it is a ghost that is sore about love, the couple could be cursed.
18. Do Not Travel During the Ghost Month
Earlier, I shared about not traveling on water like ships, boats and ferries. This extends to any form of travel during the 7th month. The belief is that there may be mischievous ghosts that can cause trouble during the trip.
19. Do Not Move To A New House
Just as it is not ideal to get married during the 7th month, it is not a good idea to move to a new house, too. For weddings, there can be uninvited guests like the ghosts.
It is the same for a new house. As you move, there could be wandering ghosts that can invite themselves into your new home.
20. Do Not Renovate
The 7th month is not a good time to do renovations. This applies to any abode. Whether your home, office or any building.
It is believed that the noise will disturb any ghosts around. And they may not be happy and cause trouble.
21. Do Not Place Your Chopsticks Vertically In a Rice Bowl
Once, when I was young and innocent, I did that. I dug my chopsticks into a rice bowl.
My Mom was shocked. Immediately, she told me to remove them. And proceeded to lecture me on why this is taboo.
She said that when we place the chopsticks vertically in a rice bowl, they look like joss sticks. A ghost wandering nearby may mistake them as offerings.
And if I continue to eat, the ghost may get offended. This can end badly.
22. Do Not Kill Insects
Chinese believe that sometimes our departed loved ones can return in the form of an insect. They do not appear as ghosts so as not to frighten us.
Most times, it is said to be the form of a moth. A large moth.
I have seen this happen before. After a relative had passed away, suddenly there was this huge moth that appeared.
It would be on a wall and refused to move. Of course, do not disturb it. Just let it be.
22 Things Not To Do During Hungry Ghost Festival (Ghost Month)
Final Thoughts by Timotheus Lee
So, there you are. The 22 things not to do during the hungry ghost festival.
There are many more things not to do. In fact, in different parts of Asia, each country or city has their own practices and taboos. To mention them all would take up an entire book.
What do you think of these 22 things not to do during the hungry ghost festival? Tell me in the comments below.
I will share more about the supernatural world and stories in future videos and blog posts here on this website. So, remember to join the Flowing Love Meditation community to receive notifications whenever I publish a new video or blog post.
Think Good Thoughts to Create Good Things.
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Timotheus has been meditating since a child. He believes thoughts become things. And shares posts to encourage everyone to have a positive mind. He also shares his spiritual knowledge and experience when he can in the articles he writes. To learn more about him, and Flowing Love Meditation, Click Here.