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Today is the Unluckiest Day of the Ghost Month

Here's how you can attract more luck and avoid negative energy on September 5

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Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photo)

Can you feel the familiar chill in the air? We're sure that as early as now, you've already started your holiday preparations. While we can all look forward to good tidings, a few are still observing the Ghost Month, which will last until September 22. If you follow a few beliefs concerning this inauspicious event and you believe in Feng shui, you'll know that today marks the unluckiest day of the month, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival.

On September 5, 2017—which is the 15th lunar day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar—many believe that the gates of hell are open, leading more ghosts and spirits to the world of the living. Those who observe the Ghost Month and are wary of negative occurrences that may fall upon them may want to take note of these practices that are said to counter bad luck:

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1. Prepare food offerings


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The Ghost Festival covers two parts: the family dinner and the outdoor offering for ghosts. The family dinner involves nourishing the household gods and ancestors. When setting the table, remember to reserve a spot or two for unseen visitors. Meanwhile, outdoor offerings are essential as ghosts are never welcome inside the house. Many prepare and set up plates of uncooked rice, uncut meat and fruit, and small cups of tea and rice wine out on the streets.

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2. Burn joss paper and "hell's money"


The practice of burning joss paper and "hell's money" is another way of appeasing ghosts to keep them from taking your real money. Also known as ghost or spirit money, joss paper are sheets of paper often shaped like houses, cars, and even TV sets. These are believed to have value in the afterlife and will please the spirits. Hell's money is also said to be used in the underworld. These resemble real bank notes and are burned to be used by ghosts when they go back into the afterlife.

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RL Tip: You can purchase joss paper and hell's money at World of Feng Shui, Unit 168, Building A SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. You may also want to check out the stores in Binondo.

3. Attend a "getai"


While Ghost Month is a solemn affair, there are live outdoor performances or getais being offered to the unseen as a form of entertainment. Be sure to attend one, but be careful where you sit. The front row is usually reserved for the ghosts for which these performances are staged.

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4. Have a send off for the ghosts


Though usually held on the last day of the Ghost Month, a send-off ceremony can also be done during the Ghost Festival. Some countries even celebrate the said festival by having a parade of lanterns in different shapes—there are lanterns shaped like a house, a boat, and a lotus. These are then released on a river or a lake to guide the ghosts and spirits back to the underworld.

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SOURCES: Chinese American Family | ThoughtCo.

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