2010-08-10

Seventh

According to Chinese folklore, there is an increase in the incidence of accidents and deaths during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, an occurrence attributed to underworld spirits visiting the earth during this time. During Ghost Month, people prepare big feasts to indulge the many roaming ghosts.

Eastern societies, unlike many western societies, traditionally try to appease the dead, rather than trying to banish them, by inviting them temporarily into the world of the living. On the first day of the seventh lunar month, 'Open Day' in hell is held, the gates to the underworld are opened and the spirits are allowed to cross over into the living world.

It is also known as Chung Yang Festival (about halfway through the month), huge banquet tables are set out in temple courtyards and mountains of fish, vegetables, meat and other delicacies are offered as sacrifice; hanging lanterns are erected to guide the ghosts to the table; non-stop operas entertain during dinner and fake money is burnt so that guests have a bit of pocket-money to spend when they return to hell.

Other do's and dont's to be observed during ghost month include the following:
DO:
- make offerings, especially the burning of "ghost money"
DON'T:
- weddings, special plans, business deals and outings should be put on hold till the end of the month;
- no whistling, whistling is not a good idea, whistling will lead the ghost straight to your home;
- talking ill of the dead (even if it's true) will just bring tears and heartache;
- special care should be taken when walking along riverbanks where a water ghost can easily steal a living spirit; and
- adding to the numbers by burying the dead is, unfortunately, not a good idea.

On the 30th day of the month, the gates of hell are closed again and the ghosts return to the other side.

After googling the above information from here, and today is the first day of the seventh Chinese lunar month,
I decided to drop by the Kuan Yin temple to request for these so called "safety protection" for my beloved family. Amitabha...Amitabha.....
Some are for taking orally and some are for carrying to anywhere we go. Don't laugh, ok? Better safe than sorry ma!

13 comments:

  1. Wakakaka! same here, gonna burn & drink those ang kong hu and then keep one in the pocket for double protection and po pi

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  2. Wow, a very informative post!
    It's July now.. be safe every we go.. ang kong po pi...

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  3. Hi Yan, First time visiting your blog. Thanks for the info. Gosh I have no idea when is the Hungry Ghost month. Although I'm in Jakarta, I should heed your advice. :)

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  4. Hi Sheoh Yan, glad to read you taking all those safety precautions with Divine assistance.
    I am a Buddhist, my wife a Catholic, but follows more on Buddhism....

    We being here 23 years have lost touch with all these what you mentioned, and glad to read about it.
    Okay, I too better light couple of jossticks invite Divine assistance.....

    So no need ask wife buy me that alarm watch just yet, ha ha.
    Stay easy and keep well, Lee.

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  5. aiyohh! everyone talking about this topic. maybe I should too :) hehehehe. so im updated now :):)

    jen @ www.charmoflife.ca

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  6. Though I am a Buddhist but I only realised that ghost month is here after reading from some of the blogs. *paiseh*

    A very good piece of information. Thanks for sharing.:P

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  7. MMMMMMM, I am christian so how so i say here,ok,,,, we respect one another hahahah, anyway i will pray for all my bloggers friends'safety, hope you dont mind ya?

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  8. Ang Kong Po Pi...Thanks for great sharing...

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  9. yeah better be cautious during 7th month.

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  10. oh..this 7th month is pretty scary. I've been hearing my neighbour's dogs howling at night :(

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  11. Thks for sharing. I know it is the 7th month but do not know so many pantang larang. hehe....

    My aunt used to give us the 'hu' to keep in our bag when we were students. Now, no more le...maybe she thought we are adults can go and ask ourself. hehe....I'm a Buddhist but not good in praying. paisey

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  12. Ohhh... my mom always remind me not to go out at night(during the ghostly month), specially with children around!^-^

    Have a nice day!

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  13. Yup, I heard about these before. I'm a Christian, and I more or less in my actions never contradict with those pantang-larang, though I don't fully practice either, and of course those to do with burning offering or getting the special paper I have never done them before. :-D

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