Every year, the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar (August 16 – September 14, 2023) in Asia, especially in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, is known as the Hungry Ghost Month. The Hungry Ghost Festival will be on August 29, 2023 evening, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.
The Hungry Ghost Festival offers an excellent opportunity to care for the needy and misfortune spirits. Hungry ghosts cannot eat or drink; they can only smell smoke and are appeased by the offering of incense or other items burned and chanted mantras.
The ghosts and spirits, including the deceased ancestors, will come from the lower realm (地獄) to the Northeastern part of the planet. During this month, living descendants will offer incense and fruit (please do not eat the fruit after you provide it) to the deceased ancestors and burn items made from paper-mâché, such as clothes, “gold bars,” and appliances.
The first day of the Hungry Ghost month will start August 16, 2023 – All the gates from the lower realm will open, and the gates will be closed on September 14, 2023. All the spirits must return to their spiritual lower realm.
We will mostly offer incense to the spirits from August 23 – 29, 2023, every night or the entire Hungry Ghost month. You can light incense at the front or back of the house after dusk. Please recite the following mantra while offering incense to the local spirits; it will create good karma for your family since you’re providing food to the homeless souls.
It would be best if you avoided the following activities during Hungry Ghost Month:
- You should not stay out late at night, as the spirits might follow you home.
- You should not take selfies at night. Otherwise, your camera might capture the image of a spirit.
- You should not kill moths; we believe your family and loved ones are reincarnated spirits just dropping by to see you.
- You should not play any spirit games; otherwise, you will attract the spirit to join you.
- You should avoid swimming at night, as evil spirits are said to linger in water and drown people for a rebirth.
- You should not open an umbrella indoors, as an umbrella is believed to be a vehicle for spirits traveling into your home.
- You should not blow a whistle or sing at night. Whistling or singing might attract spirits during this month.
- You should not look back at night; the spirit may tap your shoulder to cover your “protective flame.” Humans have three “protective flames” on our body – left shoulder, right shoulder, and forehead.
- You should not sit in the first row of the opera performances and movie cinema, as we mostly reserve the first front row for entertaining the spirits.
- We recommend you to carry the Night Spot Amulet to all who stay out late at night, who drive alone, or who frequent night spots. This amulet protects you from being at the wrong place at the wrong time while generating an aura of protection around you.
- You should refrain from picking up money on the floor at night, as someone would like to offer money, especially coins to the spirit.