In Chinese traditional belief, the seventh month in the lunar calendar (August in Western Calendar) is regarded as the Ghost Month, in which ghosts and spirits, come out from the lower realm and roam the earth. While it is not scientifically established, the Chinese believe many things should be avoided during this month especially on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival.
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1) Don’t Stroll at Night or Stay Up Late
Try to go home early because the ghosts and spirits are usually more energetic during the night time. Don’t stay up too late because that will drain your “Chi” making you the easy target for the evil ghosts.
2) Don’t Stick Your Chopsticks In Your Rice
The old people believe sticking your chopsticks in your rice bowl resembles praying ritual and would attract the spirits’ attention.
3) Don’t Swim
Avoid swimming during this month because it is said that drowned evil ghosts might try to drown people in order for them to rebirth
4) Don’t Take or Damage the Offerings By the Roadside
The offerings are meant for the spirits or someone’s ancestors. If one were to disturb the offerings, he should apologize to resolve the anger of the concerned.
5) Don’t Pick Up Coins or Money Found on the Street
It is said that the coins or money found are for the guards from lower realm. Picking them up will displease them.
6) Don’t Wear Red (Red Strings) Or Accessories with Bells
Ghosts are attracted to red and the sound made by the bells.
7) Don’t Hang Wet Clothes Outside At Night
The spirits and ghosts love cooling places and wet clothes offer just that.
8) Don’t Respond To Your Name Calling
If you are in a quiet alley at night, do not respond if you hear anyone calling your name. Pretend like you do not hear anything.
9) Don’t Move to A New House, Start New Business or Marry
As the Ghost Month is usually considered to be inauspicious, try to avoid these milestone during the month.
10) Don’t Whistle
Whistling, especially at the night time or at a wrong place like the graveyard may attract ghosts, especially when you are alone.