Ghost Month

The Ghost Festival falls on the same time of the full moon the 7th month. During this month, the gates of hell are open and ghosts are free to roam earth, seeking entertainment and food. These ghosts are ancestors of those who forgot to pay tribute to them after they died or those that were never properly buried.

Family members not only offer food and drinks for the dead spirits, but they burn “Hell Bank Notes” too! These Hell Bank Notes look like money, and they hold value in the other worlds, like money we have here in the material world. These notes should not be given as gifts to the living (else bad luck happens), and the notes should be presented as a loose bundle, which is considered respectful. And real money is NEVER burned — this too can bring horrible, bad luck.

But also, many families pay tribute to other, random, unknown homeless souls — so that the ghosts don’t intrude on their lives and bring misfortune. The large feast is held for ghosts on the 14th day of that 7th month, with everyone bringing lots of food and drinks — offering them to the ghosts so to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

When live performances are held during this month, the first row of the seats are always empty as these seats are reserved for the ghosts. And the volumes are turned up as high as possible, for this too, pleases the ghosts.

Incense is burned — at all door ways, and in homes — because incense represent prosperity. During the festival, shops close, leaving the streets open for the ghosts. The streets will have fruits and alters for ghosts too.

Sounds like a good time.

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