Ghost Festival (China)

About the Ghost Festival

Ghost festival customs in China mainly include ancestor worship, river lanterns, dying souls and burning paper ingots. The Mid-Autumn Festival evolved from the “Half July” farming harvest in ancient times. In the first half of July, the folk festival celebrated the harvest and rewarded the land. There are a number of crops that are mature. People are required to pay tribute to the ancestors using the new rice and other sacrifices.

Ghost festival was originally called “Zhongyuan Festival”, which originates from the of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Taoism believes that July and a half is the birthday of the official. Praying will release all the ghosts allowing the late ancestors to go home for a reunion. That is why the July and Mid-Autumn season is called the “Chinese New Year Festival”. The Chinese Yuan Festival, the Shang Yuan Festival and the Lower Yuan Festival are collectively called the “three yuan.”

What are the taboos during the Ghost Festival?

The Chinese call July the ghost month in the lunar calendar. July 14th is the heaviest day of the ghost month. Legend has it that in the middle of the night, you will see the dead. That’s why it is not advisable to go out on this night. Here are some of the other things that you’re not supposed to do.

1, Avoid drying clothes in the middle of the night

Wet clothes tend to attract electric waves to them, and it is not easy to get out. In the ghost month where ghosts are everywhere, drying clothes in the middle of the night is like setting a trap to catch ghosts.

2, The taboo of the physiological period

Folks believe that female workers are unclean during physical periods. That is why they should not be seen in the field so as not to violate the gods, lead to misfortune or effect the work. Regardless of whether this argument is biased or not, the female workers are really vulnerable to other magnetic fields due to physical instability caused by their physical condition, so it is necessary to be cautious.

3, Avoid saying ghost words

On this day, ghosts are everywhere. Therefore, it is best to be cautious in the middle of the day and avoid saying the word “ghost”, or talking meaninglessly.

4, Taboo on the paper

The sacred paper is a sacrifice for the ghosts. When burning, the ghosts will gather and sneak around. If you are angry when you burn the paper, it is difficult to prevent the ghosts from hindering your actions and it will be bad for you.

5, Avoid tapping on anyone’s shoulders

This taboo is related to folklore. The folks believe that there are three fires in each person, gathered on both shoulders and above your head, which prevents the ghosts from getting close. Therefore, in the middle of the day when there are ghosts everywhere, you should avoid patting people on shoulders and putting out their fire.

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Wendy Saunders - Author

I am a romantic suspense author based in Hampshire in the UK

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