It is that time of the year again where your relatives, close ones, and extended family are back to visit, less the Chinese New Year festivities. Why it’s the Hungry Ghost Month or colloquially known as 7th month of course. Most of us have grown up listening to hearsays and old wives tales, cautioning us against various acts of faux pas during the Chinese Ghost Month. As seen on the local horror flick “The Maid”, we learn about how one innocent misstep can lead to an amalgamation of series of unfortunate repercussions. Listed below in no order of significance are some of the DON’T DOs this 7th month to help you steer clear of any unfavorable and inconvenient experiences.
1. Front row seats are not for you
How would you feel if someone sat on your seats? Don’t. Just, don’t. The front rows at the Getai shows are reserved for our “revered” guests and it would be outright offensive to plop yourselves into one of these chairs.
2. Steer clear of water
No, you still need your recommended 7 glasses of water daily, we aren’t referring to water, water. It is well understood that the spirits of those who had drowned linger in the water bodies such as swimming pools during the 7th month, lurking patiently for their next victim in an attempt to free up a new slot in the cycle of life for the spirit to rebirth into. Don’t be that guy… or girl… or whichever gender you identify as.
3. Whistling at night
If you are one who catcalls at women anyway, you kind of have this coming. Surely, you wouldn’t want to attract the attention of the wrong individual. Lesson to take away here – avoid whistling in the dead of the night, oh yes, and also cat-calling at women in general.
4. Kicking food & incense offerings
We are close to certain that some of you may have accidentally (hopefully…not on purpose) stepped on partially burnt incense papers or kicked the food offerings along the walkways and kerbs. These seemingly harmless actions might be trivial to you but highly offensive and infringing on our friends from the other side. If, however, you were to do so on accident, simply say sorry and apologize sincerely, or at least that’s what our Ah mas tell us to do. Avoid at all cost, unless you would like an unwanted guest following you for a stayover at your place.
5. Going out late in the night
Since hungry ghosts are free to roam the streets of our world during this month, your chances of coming into contact with such spiritual entities remain on the high side. Plus, we never know if they are friendly or not. I mean… We should all have been accustomed to staying home by now thanks to practice during the circuit breaker period, so what’s another month, right? + Bonus point to take note of (if you are pregnant, you should know that these entities are attracted to fetuses).
6. Ignore mysterious voices that call for your name
As you hear your name being called out, you turn your head around to check. A cold bead of sweat breaks out on your forehead. You know there is no one else around but you, or so you assume. One of the more common signs of presence of a spiritual entity, a mischievous one in particular would be hearing your names being called out of nowhere or in some reported cases, having your shoulders tapped. According to Chinese religious belief, each of us has a flame on our shoulder, signifying a balance of Yin and Yang energy. By turning our heads to these sounds, we unknowingly put these fires out, making us susceptible to spiritual possessions. But of course, it’s a different story if your mom calls out your name to get you to clean your room, make sure you respond to that.
7. A special one for the ladies: Covering your foreheads
It is a common belief amongst the older generation that our yang energy is concentrated on our foreheads and our yang energies decrease when we cover them, increasing the likelihood of bumping into one of these guests. A quick tip for you ladies especially would be to keep your forehead uncovered to allow light to shine and in turn, warding off the spirits. Just for this month, flaunt that big forehead your friends poke fun at you for and let that forehead glow, the brighter the better, we’ll see who has the last laugh.
Here are several top advice we have gathered amongst the many, for you. We hope all our readers learn to respect the traditions and cultures of various ethnic groups and stay safe during this hungry ghost festival. We doubt the Covid payout aid is enough to hire a medium or ‘Tangki’, better be safe than sorry!