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:
- make offerings, especially the burning of "ghost money"
- 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!