8 Superstitions & Taboos to Avoid This Hungry Ghost Festival 2016


Lunar 7th Month, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, starts from 3rd August 16 and ends on 31st August 16. It is a customary festival that is celebrated by Chinese all over the world. It is during this month that the Chinese believe that spirits and ghosts from the underworld are set free from the under realm and are allowed to roam the world of the living. Both young and old would usually pay their respects to the dead during this season and several rituals are often seen being performed by both the Buddhism and Taoism community.

The Hungry Ghost festival is a widely known and respected festival by the Chinese and there has been more than one testimonial report of increase in accidents, deaths and paranormal activities during this period. If you too believe in these sayings, these are 8 superstition and taboos you have to know about and follow to protect yourself during this inauspicious month.

1 Avoid Swimming During this Month

There’s a lot of sayings behind why you shouldn’t swim during this month. Some believe that it is because the spirits of drowned ghosts might be lurking around to try and drown more victims to aid them in their rebirth. Others believe that it is because these hungry ghosts would be thirsty and would hang around pools etc.

But either way, the fact of the matter is that humans can’t breathe in water and we are more vulnerable in water than we are on land. So if you are a believer, do try and avoid swimming during this season unless you are Joseph Schooling and/or you are competing in the Olympics at Rio.

2. Don’t Cry in the Middle Of the Night

Although it might be a tad hard to control your emotions, but where possible, avoid crying in the middle of the night as it is believed that when you cry, your “energy” is lowered and you would be more susceptible to being possess.

3. Ignore Shoutouts, Turn your Body Not just your head

If you are walking alone at night and you hear someone calling out your name, your best option is to ignore and just continue walking. If you absolutely have to turn, do not just turn your head but turn your whole body as well. The Chinese believe that we have 3 Lights that protect us, one on our forehead and one each on both sides of our shoulders.

4. Avoid Looking at / Sleeping Directly In Front of Reflective Surfaces

Reflective surfaces include mirrors, bodies of water, glass panels etc. For obvious reasons, avoid looking at/sleeping in front of reflective surfaces to prevent chancing upon unwelcome figures and faces. Use Curtains or Blinds to block out your windows when you sleep at night.

5. Don’t Whistle especially at Night

Ghost are said to be attracted to the sound of whistles. Avoid doing so especially in the night and/or when you are alone.

6. Do not Kill or Disturb Moths & Butterflies

Because of its relatively short lifespan, Chinese traditions believe that Moths are manifestation of spirits and ancestors who take the form of a moth to visit the living.

7. Try Not to Do any Birthday Celebrations at night

Generally, any form of happy occasions such as parties etc during the Hungry Ghost Festival is frowned upon as it’s said to install jealousy among the dead. But if someone’s birthday falls within the month of August, it is best to celebrate in the morning rather than at night.

8. Brighten Up Your Room

In the day, it is recommended to keep your windows open so as to not have a dark and gloomy home. It is in the darkness that the Chinese believe that the “Ying” Energy is the strongest. So let light in and ensure that your house is well lit, especially in the corners. If opening your windows makes your room a tad too warm, use Day Curtains to still allow light in whilst drastically reducing the heat in the house.


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