10 Things Not To Do in The Month of Hungry Ghost Festival

The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival or the Month of Spirits is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in a lot of Asian countries. One of which is Vietnam.

In Chinese culture, the gate of hell is opened annually on the 15th of lunar July and every single hungry spirit captured takes this one and only chance to kind of “come back home” and find food on earth. It is when ghosts and spirits come out from the lower realm and visit the living. Therefore, those, all people like us, who live on Earth have been telling themselves to offer a special “combo” on almost every street on the date in exchange of the annoyance from these evil spirits. Given a tiny long digestive system, they are nearly incapable of swallowing casual food but porridge, rice, and salt only.

During this month, there are a few things that the Vietnamese often avoid doing. Today, I will tell you the top

  1. Don’t shave your legs this month!Vietnamese people often say that: “One single leg hair can hold 3 ghosts” and the more strands you have, the higher chance of having ghosts follow you you get.
    Photo via cdn-img.instyle.com
  2. Don’t put your chopsticks upstraight in the middle of your bowl of rice!
  3. Assumed as a form of worshipping with 2 incenses embed into the ground, this action can be considered bad luck when you are about to invite those evil spirits to share the same meal with you.
  4. Never air your clothes at night as those spirits are wearing them behind your back. Well, it’s not that good if you put them back on again, or else you may call yourself a doctor!Let me set it straight! It’s raining like cats and dogs during this time as of rainy season. Airing your clothes outside obviously bring you sickness after you wear them back on, ‘cause they cannot stay dry! Am I right?
  5. Don’t ever eat any of the items after you offer them!
    It will come to your vision when you visit China, Japan, or Vietnam at the moment. Foods are placed on the street without covered! Evidently, even Jesus gets sick eating that!

    Photo via greenlife.vn
  6.  Don’t swim!
    For God’s sake, they say those spirits are going to twist your ankles in the water. They will, if you don’t warm yourself up but jumping right into the pool!
  7. Try not scaring the crab out of people!
    Because their own spirit is displaced after jumping out of their body by the evil one, thanks to you! And one more excuse, you will probably get a slap if you try to scare people right.
  8. Avoid staying out late! (Another saying is “Don’t party hard”)
    Or else those evils are following you home! Or cops, or any kind of murderers! Please stay safe!
  9. A windbell should not be placed on the top of your bed!
    Its sound may attract the spirits to come and harm you, which leads to sleep disorder. For sure, how can you even close your eyes in peace when the bell just keeps ringing right next to your ears?
  10. Don’t say your friends’ names and call them out loud at night if you don’t want spirits to remember and call their names.
Photo via edenprairieweblogs.org

In this month, you should show your utmost sincerity to the festival or the wandering spirits themselves, simply by offering a tray of food on the pavement, at the corner in front of your house. It can go with some “joss paper” and incenses. The best dates to perform this ritual are the 2nd and 16th of lunar July.

Photo via media.vietq.v

Go vegan on some of the specific dates or even the whole month will do good!

Culture and tradition are absolute quintessence deserved a good place in the stream of history, no matter where or what kind of performances they are carried out. And basically, worshipping any kind of Gods, or even wandering spirits as I am talking about, is a matter of fact that stays for thousands of years, which reflects the common sense and pure mindset of our ancestors. Hence, either it is good or bad, we have our own right to follow or not, but accepting and respecting it are the most essential factors.


12 thoughts on “10 Things Not To Do in The Month of Hungry Ghost Festival”

  1. Number one is no problem for me. I hardly ever shave lol The swimming one would be a bit of a hard one to stay away from though as I love to swim. I do love hearing about others beliefs and cultures. It’s amazing how diverse we really are. Very interesting.

  2. I have never heard of this festival before. These are all interesting tips. I will have to do more research on the subject.

  3. The Ghost Festival is something I have never heard of before but find it interesting for sure. Traditions and cultures of all kinds have always been an interest of my sons and mine. This is indeed awesome information about the Hungry Ghost Festival.

  4. Oh good lawd that’s scary thought, I am not a fan of ghosts so I would follow all of these to the letter. Some of these superstitions we have in my culture too.

  5. Wow I had no idea that there were all these things you can’t do. I don’t know if I could avoid swimming at this time of year. Also the not shaving the legs part is crazy.

  6. You all can see this Hungry Ghost Festival from a wholly different perspective, the one that is filled with love and sorrow. On this day, we can somehow connect to our loved ones that have passed away. We miss them badly, we miss them painfully, and we don’t know if they’re wandering out there, searching for food and clothes and totally forgetting about us. How hurtful it would be!
    So please don’t be afraid of anything!

  7. Oh I didn’t know that we should not shave our legs in the ghost month. It’s so scary. I myself do believe in the spiritual tradition. Thanks for sharing us those useful information.

  8. I’ve heard about some of the must-not-do things in the Month of Spirits before but not this specific. The list is much longer than I expected but it’s informative anyhow. Seems like I’d better not do anything, for safety reasons.

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