The Day of the Dead, Halloween, All Souls Day–These are a traditional Western celebration for our loved ones who passed away. While in the Asian Region, the Taoists and Buddhists celebrate “The Hungry Ghost Festival” or the “Ghost Month”. We celebrate our day of the dead for only one day, but for the Chinese, a whole month is dedicated to remembering those who died.
This year, the festival falls on the 5th of September. According to the Chinese calendar, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month, in general, is called the Ghost Month. This year, the festival falls on August 22, 2017, to September 19, 2017. This is the time when the ghosts and spirits of the deceased come out from the lower realm. To avoid unfortunate events during this time, the living should pay tribute to the deceased ancestors and spirits.
To be safe, there are Chinese traditions being passed down from generation to generation to make sure that the restless spirits who roam the earth won’t bring us bad luck. Some of the traditions are—loud entertainment/opera, prayer offering, tending roadside fires, burning incense, joss paper, and faux money, as well as food, is offered to ancestors and the deceased to be used in the afterlife. Thus, calling this celebration “The Hungry Ghost Festival”, it now makes sense, right?!
According to our last year’s interview with Ms. Lin Ci Qian, a committee of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Philippine; she said, they consider this month as an auspicious month, this is a month for prayer and meditation because of the good weather. August is equivalent to July in the Lunar Calendar and during Buddha’s time, monks would pray and meditate longer.
The Ghost month has brought unpleasant experiences to some Chinese people. They avoid surgery, out of town trips, moving houses, marrying, whistling, and going out late at night and no swimming and no taking pictures after dark. It is believed that these attract bad spirits and one will get bad luck when these are done during the said period.
The truth is, this has been a part of the culture and tradition of the Chinese. However, being in this generation, we still would want to continue what was taught to us by our elders. So we keep the tradition and we should still stay positive and selective on what is good. An example is what Ms. Lin said, you can actually purchase a house but you are prohibited to move in. It is still wise to invest especially if you know that the project you are eyeing is worth it and with high profitability rate.
There may be a lot of negative and scary connotation that comes with “The Ghost Month” but come to think of it, this is the time when we can enjoy spending time with our loving family and paying homage to our deceased ancestors and wandering spirits. This is the time we can pass down family traditions and activities, and attend celebrations associated with the festival. This is definitely a time of celebration, offering, and joy which we should not associate with negativity and bad luck. I’m sure the spirits of the dead also mean well. They just want to be remembered and loved even if they are not seen.
Good things come to those who do well. This is one famous saying we can live by to attract goodness in the universe. We should be accountable for our actions and be able to prepare and anticipate what might come can be a good start to avoid untoward incidents. It is all in the mind they say. We mean well to others and make sure we don’t step on others in our daily lives.
May we all live in good spirit and good fortune will surely come our way. Get Lucky this August!
**Thank you, Google for the research