10 Fun Trivia To Know About Hungry Ghost Month
A lot of business people and entrepreneurs are scared of Hungry Ghost Month. But here’s some interesting and fun trivia about Hungry Ghost Month.
When ECQ Season 3 hit, notice a lot of businesses didn’t throw a tantrum like a toddler? That’s because it’s Hungry Ghost Month — a month feared by many Chinese and Chinoy business associates. It’s kind of like the Asian version of Halloween except these ghosts are known to take up a person’s ability to make money because they’re angry and hungry for something. To help you find out why a lot of businesses are closed on Hungry Ghost Month month, here’s some fun trivia about it:
1. Staying out late at night makes spirits more prone to following you home.
You’ll notice that some businesses before are willing to burn out the midnight oil but not on Hungry Ghost Month! According to superstition, late nights are usually when the gates of Hell are flung wide open. Ghosts then will be on the prowl and love preying on kids since they’re the weaker ones. Besides some hostiles running around, this Hungry Ghost Month trivia might be a good way to scare your kids into getting home before curfew.
2. Hungry Ghost Month is why some Chinese are very particular about respecting their ancestors.
As much as Mulan’s squawking ancestors were fun to watch in the old Disney film, Hungry Ghost Month has a different take on that. When our relatives die, their souls stay on Earth for a few days. Some say 100, others a lot less. While most spirits are just trying to finish some unfinished business, some spirits especially ones that were particularly nasty while alive are more prone to becoming Hungry Ghosts. To turn them back or make them docile again, the Chinese would often burn incense or pray. More drastic measures would even involve calling a Buddhist monk to commune with the spirit.
3. More incense = more moolah
Incense always had a special place in Chinese practice. Some light incense for prayer, others light it to keep the bad spirits away. For Hungry Ghost Month, the incense is there to attract the spirits of greater wealth. Some even are so nitpicky all the way down to what scent it should be. They believe by using the right incense and burning the right amount will attract certain spirits of power like certain Rakshasa or Yaksha to bring more prosperity for the month after.
4. Burn the “Hell Money”
When we say burn money in Hungry Ghost Month, they literally light it on fire. But no, they won’t burn a real PHP 1000 bill! There are special papers called Hell Money which believers offer by burning it. When burned, they believe that the money goes to the ancestor it’s meant for which becomes real currency for them. Before burning, the believers pray over it and bless it before sending it to the afterlife for their ancestors to use. Some say it’s to help their ancestors “pay” their way out of torment.
5. Don’t wear anything black…
Chinese families never liked black and although it’s slimming for fashion, it’s a no-no for Hungry Ghost Month. Some people believe that those who wear black radiate so much negative energy that the spirits will think that they’re part of Hell too. Then, they’ll lure them to Hell as well. So whenever you visit some old Chinese friends or relatives during Hungry Ghost Month, don’t wear black. They’ll think you’re bringing evil spirits to their house.
6. Avoid spitting and blowing your nose in the public or at any tree/plant.
Especially during this COVID season, don’t but all the more Chinese or Chinoy would not want to do it during this Hungry Ghost Month. According to the belief, spirits stick to trees or plants because it’s cooler. Less sunlight to burn them so they hide amongst the foliage. So, sneezing at a tree or a plant means sneezing on them too and that’s just rude. Will the spirits get COVID? Maybe not but they’re not going to be happy with your snot all over them.
7. We can’t kill insects during Hungry Ghost Month!?!?
An interesting Hungry Ghost Month trivia that seems to also have carried into some Western movies. Some believe that our dead relatives come back in the form of insects to say their last goodbyes or see them before they go into the afterlife. Unfortunately, we don’t know which insect they usually come back as so they usually spare all kinds of insects. So as much as the flying cockroach is a living nightmare to us, some would stop you and would prefer you shoo it out the window instead. Besides, who knows? Maybe that cockroach was a nasty relative you once had.
8. Don’t take photos at night.
Remember the old horror movie Shutter? The movie was based on this exact Hungry Ghost Month trivia. During the month, firm believers would demand you not to take photos at night lest you want to see something hovering over your shoulder. Spirits are often caught in photos and are more active at night. Besides, there’s not much light at night anyway so unless you’re taking a picture of the stars, believers of Hungry Ghost Month will not recommend you do.
9. No playing with the Ouija Board.
Of all board games to play, do not play the Ouija Board. Many use the Ouija Board as a means to communicate with the dead. Worse, you can’t tell which spirit you’ve summoned. So, Ouija Boards are a big no-no. That’s the one thing both Buddhists and Catholics agree on. Ouija Boards are said to literally invite all sorts of spirits. It’s like saying, “Hey, it’s okay! My house can be terrorized by you!” Besides, we’ve seen a lot of horror movies. We know how that turns out.
10. If someone pats your back, turn your whole body around. Not just your head.
According to some believers, people have a protective flame on their shoulders that can be snuffed out if they turn only their heads around. You’ll notice then that people if you pat them on the shoulder, they’ll turn their whole body to face you rather than just their head. It takes more effort, yeah, but for believers — they’d rather turn their whole body to make sure they don’t get possessed.
That’s… a lot of fun trivia about Hungry Ghost Month.
While all these trivia about Hungry Ghost Month may seem a little funny to us, it still affects us in a way because it also affects how some people do business. A lot of business associates and entrepreneurs observe this because they’re told that they’ll lose a lot of money if they do try. But there are some who don’t believe or may possibly be just gutsy enough to try because that’s when everything’s at dirt-cheap prices. So before doing business, make sure you give your shop of choice a call before ordering. Maybe they’re observing the month too.