I noticed that through the recent years August is being considered as a ghost month by many Filipinos including our family and relatives. Filipinos have been incorporating Chinese beliefs in their day to day lives and ghost month practices and belief is one of them. Since our family is into businesses in my growing up years and up to now, August has been considered a month of no major activities for the business and our personal lives. I never questioned or asked about it. I just followed it anyway.
Aside from having the Linggo ng Wika in August in Philippines, what is this August ghost month phenomenon? Here are some stuff I read about it.
- A Buddhist and Taoist festival
- Basically, it is believed to be the time when the dead and ghosts including those of their ancestors come out wherein the dead is believed to be visiting the living. (It’s more complicated than this but I’ll leave it to the believers)
- This is the month when Buddhist and Taoists honor their dead by preparing food to offer, burning incense, and other rituals.
- They set their tables with abundant meals as if they will also serve their deceased relatives.
- Why August? Because it is celebrated every 7th Lunar Month which usually falls in the month of August.
- Some believed that the gates of hell will open and the spirits will be free to roam around in the living world.
According to the believers, August Ghost Month this year if from July 29 to August 26, 2022. Here are some beliefs that have been passed on from one generation to another from those who believe in the ghost month and for those who are just cautious and safe:
- Don’t go out strolling at night. It’s very dangerous since ghosts are everywhere.
- Avoid swimming, the ghosts may you down to drown you and be victims for their rebirth.
- Don’t start a new business or move to a new house this month. It will be very unlucky.
- Don’t sing and whistle. They will attract the ghosts.
- Keep away from the walls as it is believed that ghosts like sticking to walls.
- If someone is born during the ghost month, avoid celebrating birthday at night. It’s better to celebrate during the daytime.
- Do not go out at 12 midnight as the ghost may approach you for food and other offerings for them.
- Don’t pee on trees or soils, it will disturb the spirits residing there.
- Don’t leave umbrellas outside the house because the spirits will take shelter. Do not open the umbrellas inside the house too.
- Do not take selfies or take videos. Ghost may appear in them.
- Do not sleep facing the mirror or something reflective. It guides the ghosts to you.
- Do onto get married during this month. It is very unlucky.
- Avoid talking about ghosts this month. The wandering spirits might be offended.
- Do not kill weird looking or rare insects, they may be manifestations of spirits paying a visit.
- Do not move or place a fish tank during this month.
- Do not start a construction or renovation work during this month.
- Avoid high heels. Spirits posses people wearing heels easily.
- Avoid spirit games Ouija board, Spirit go the Pen, calling to talk to spirits, etc.
- Avoid long travels- local and abroad.
- No big purchases / investments like houses, cars, stock market investments.
- No new business deals or signing contracts.
- Don’t leave clothes hanging at night or in dark rooms. Ghosts may attach themselves to the clothes and eventually to the wearer.
- Use rock salt to protect your home by putting them in doors and windows and also you may bring some in your bag.
- Offer prayers for the dead. It will help appease their spirits.
- Keep your home and surroundings bright and light.
- Wear “yang” colors- bright colors like white, yellow, red, green , orange. Don’t wear “yin” colors – black, grey, dark blue.
Interesting right? But most Filipinos, even those who are not Chinese or Buddhists, still follow these. Better safe than sorry as they say. It shows how influential the Chinese beliefs are in the Philippines since most Filipinos have Chinese blood here.
They said that this is the month to just stay put and relax. A time to appreciate what we already have and maximize them to the fullest. A time to reflect in life. A time to renew and rejuvenate 🙂