How to Stay Safe During the Dreaded Ghost Month
When in doubt, don't do anything out of your usual routine
If the term “Ghost Month” isn’t enough to make you curious what the fuss is all about, it’s that time of the year—August 11 to September 9 for 2018—when supposedly, ghosts are given a month to roam around the land of the living, and with them come about tragedy and sadness.
The start of Ghost Month falls on the first day of the seventh Lunar Month, and for the Chinese community or those who want to follow their lead, that signals taking no risks and no big life changes, from getting married and opening new businesses, to saying no to home renovations.
If you were to believe the folklore, the ghosts that roam the earth for Ghost Month come from the gates of hell. In order for them to not bother you or wreak havoc in your life or give you bad luck, they need food offerings (because they’re hungry ghosts)—which usually means a need for a feast in the form of a Ghost Festival that is celebrated on August 25.
But how does it affect the ordinary folk, or one that thinks that it can’t hurt to err on the side of judgment? Ghost Month means the following:
1. No signing of big contracts.
Eyeing to close that sale on a condominium unit this month? Best to wait it out until September 10—entering any contract during ghost month will give you a headache, or a source of stress.
2. Don’t buy or sell anything.
Finally saved up enough money to buy that sofa set? Ghost month believers say that anything you purchase during Ghost Month will bring you bad luck, and anything you sell will give the buyer bad luck, too—it works both ways!
3. Stay the same as much as possible.
Moving that coffee table to a different room or working on a home renovation project is like luring bad luck to your doorstep—if you are to believe what happens during Ghost Month. But if you wish to play it safe, go about your usual routine, and avoid any unnecessary changes.
4. Prepare your home for the ghosts.
Sadly there are no ways to ward the ghosts away permanently, but, much like your usual horror flick, ghosts enjoy making trouble in the dark. Ward them off by keeping your home as brightly lit as possible, and for as long as your MERALCO bill can handle.
Rock salt is also believed to absorb evil spirits, so it won’t hurt to leave jars or bowls of rock salt by the doors, windows, nooks, and crannies of your home.
5. Offer food up to the ghosts.
They are hungry ghosts, after all, so they might be appeased by food offerings and a candle lit in their honor. If you’re up for it, Master Hanz Cua advises to “light nine sticks of incense and go through every room of the house. Moving clockwise, fill up every room with the fragrant smoke of incense. It will give your house a good cleansing. It is advisable to do this ritual every week during Ghost Month.”
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