In case you didn’t know, August is Ghost Month. Before you say anything, this has nothing to do with “ghosting” your Tinder date.
It’s based on the ancient Chinese legend of Mulian the monk. According to the story, his dead mother asked him to send her food because she was hungry in the afterlife. However, she couldn’t eat since she was a ghost.(Hence, its other name: the Hungry Ghost Month.) So Buddha instructed Mulian to make food offerings and robes for his fellow monks. Grateful, the monks start praying to his mother and she was reborn into a human.
This year, Ghost Month started on Aug. 1 and will end on the 29th. The Hungry Ghost Festival, which is a Chinese celebration to honor late ancestors and relatives, will happen on Aug. 15th. The Chinese believe that ghosts will be roaming the Earth until the end of the month, allegedly bringing about bad luck in businesses and one’s personal life.
Even though Ghost Month is usually followed by Buddhist and Taoist communities all over the world, others also participate in it because they don’t want to anger any spirits too. Which is why they read up on superstitions they should follow to ensure a smooth-sailing month. Here are some of them:
Stay away from bodies of water
Skip that beach or cruise trip this month. According to Says Lifestyle, “vengeful water spirits who have drowned are determined to drag the living into the water as their ‘substitute’ in death so that they can leave the place where their souls linger and be reincarnated.” Some also advise that you shouldn’t be in any body of water after sunset. Yes, we know it sounds like a horror story.
Avoid wearing these pieces
What you shouldn’t wear during Ghost Month: red, black, and heels.
Spirits are said to be attracted to red and black clothing. As for wearing heels, people believe it opens yourself up to lingering ghosts because you’re elevated from the ground.
You might want to consider going home early
Superstitions say that you should always come home before sunset. Asia One noted spirits are strongest at night. So if you don’t feel like going out for drinks until 3 a.m., then you should just go straight home.
Leaving clothes outside overnight is not good
Some say wandering spirits might try on clothes that are hanging outside, especially if they’re left overnight. If you take in the clothes at night, you’ll be bringing in the spirits into your home and that’s going to give everyone bad juju. But if you really insist on doing your laundry in the evening, you can use a dryer.
Don’t buy that property just yet
PropertyGuru noted before that real estate sales have slumped multiple times because of during Ghost Month. This is because superstitious people believe buying new property or moving into a new home this month is like an open invitation for the spirits.
Asia One also mentioned that Ghost Month is also the best time to buy a home if you’re not superstitious because prices tend to be low or open for bargains. Just to be safe, visitors should always bring fresh fruits to bring in blessings.
Close those umbrellas
We know it’s the rainy season and we tend to leave umbrellas open to dry. But according to Goody Feed, you shouldn’t leave them like that at night because spirits would use umbrellas to shelter themselves. So it’s also not advisable to have the open umbrellas facing your room because they might just enter uninvited.
Hold off on the big life events
ABS-CBN News noted you shouldn’t hold your wedding or sign a business contract during Ghost Month. “[It] is believed that whatever you come by will likely bring you bad luck, and that goes for a wife or husband too,” the outlet reported.
But just like buying a house on Ghost Month, getting married can also be cheaper according to Money Smart. Again, this is only if you’re not superstitious about any bad luck that might befall you or your future spouse.