Lunar July is about to arrive on August 16th, and many people are full of awe for the "Ghost Month," being especially cautious during this month. In response, Taiwanese experts in fortune-telling and folk customs have recently provided various reminders about the taboos of this month.
Folk expert Liao Dayi pointed out that the taboos and customs associated with the so-called "Ghost Month" of lunar July are actually rooted in a compassionate sentiment, allowing the "good siblings" and "good sisters" who are not worshipped by anyone to eat and drink their fill, wander freely in the human world, and then depart.
Therefore, for people with traditional religious beliefs, it's advisable to avoid certain taboos. For instance, the "good siblings" are said to move in places below 45 centimeters and enjoy resting in corners. Thus, during lunar July, it's better not to squat while smoking, chatting, or contemplating, to avoid encroaching upon the activity space of the "good siblings."
Folk expert Liao Dayi stated that it's said that "good siblings" like to rest in corners, so during "Ghost Month," it's advised not to squat in places lower than 45 centimeters.
On top of that, there are 28 more No-Nos that you should not do to avoid "mistakenly messing" with the "good siblings":-
#1 - Avoid using the word "ghost," instead called them "good brothers" or "good sisters"
#2 - Avoid squating or stayed at somewhere lower than waist height for too long.
#3 - Avoid wearing dark colours, wear more bright colours to look more spirited.
#4 - Refrain from speaking negatively, express more praise.
#5 - Avoid whistling or singing at night, listen to uplifting music instead.
#6 - Avoid staying out till late night.
#7 - Avoid going to riversides or beaches, go to parks instead.
#8 - Refrain from fishing or killing animals, and consume more vegetarian food.
#9 - Don't call your friend by their full name, especially after evening time. Use a nickname instead.
#10 - Avoid swimming after evening time. It is said that if a drowned "good sibling" has unresolved grievances, they may search for substitutes as they can't undergo reincarnation.
#11 - Avoid checking out old houses/properties that are over 30 years old.: It's believed that departed spirits might revisit their previous homes during the Ghost Month.
#12 - Avoid visiting hospitals at night: It's believed that deceased individuals have many memories associated with hospitals, and if their descendants don't worship them, they might linger around hospitals.
#13 - Avoid walking near temples in the evening: It's believed that many unjustly deceased "good siblings" seek help from temple deities since they can't find a place to plead their grievances.
#14 - Avoid drying clothes at night: It's said that "good siblings" who can't find a place to go might attach themselves to damp clothes.
#15 - Avoid reciting scriptures as it could attract more "good siblings" to listen, and if the scripture has a "warding off evil" effect, it might harm the "good siblings."
#16 - Avoid shouting loudly at night: Shouting loudly during the Ghost Month could startle the "good siblings," leading to poor sleep quality.
#17 - Avoid casually patting someone's shoulder from behind: It's believed that patting someone's shoulder from behind might frighten them, causing their soul to be unstable and making it easier for "good siblings" to invade their consciousness.
#18 - Avoid whistling at night: The frequency of whistling sounds is similar to the frequency of the underworld, making it easier to summon "good siblings."
#19 - Avoid lighting incense or aromatic herbs at night: The fragrance of incense can attract "good siblings" to surround it.
#20 - Avoid taking photos in the mountains or open spaces: Modern cameras are increasingly clear, making it possible to capture the shadows of "good siblings" during the Ghost Month.
#21 - Avoid saying the word "death" repeatedly: To avoid triggering "good siblings."
#22 - Avoid participating in daring games, such as Truth or Dare. Young people who enjoy adventure might play such games during the Ghost Month, risking invoking spirits.
#23 - Don't dial numbers with thirteen consecutive 7s or 0s at night, as you might connect with a departed spirit.
#24 - Avoid watching horror movies at night: Beware that "good siblings" might watch along with you.
#25 - Refrain from using foul language during Zhongyuan the Ghost Month to avoid angering "good siblings."
#26 - When staying in a hotel, bring a bag of wormwood or patchouli powder and leave it under your pillow to promote a peaceful sleep.
#27 - Avoid using knives at night; it's better to use them during the day.
#28 - When moving or relocating, choose midday for better luck.
#29 - For weddings, avoid setting off firecrackers in the evening to prevent marital discord.
Although some might say that these taboos are not real, but, there's no harm in trying to be careful right?
Wishing everyone a safe and sound Hungry Ghost Festival!