I know this post is not related to any of the novels that I am translating but hey just sharing with you guys that today is the 1st day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar.
This means that today is the start of the Hungry Ghost Month.
It is thought that the ghosts of Chinese ancestors are let out of hell on the first day of the month. It has been the scariest month of the year for thousands of years. They roam around looking for peculiar entertainment, and many fearful Chinese try to avoid swimming or being alone at night lest an enemy ghost comes after them.
The ghosts attack their enemies, and they might be angry or malicious in general. So the Chinese have certain traditions about what to do about the situation on the first day, the 14th or 15th for the Hungry Ghost Festival, and the last day of the special month.
The First Day of Hungry Ghost Month
One the first day of the month, people burn make-believe paper money outside their homes or businesses, along the sides of roads, or in fields. Sometimes, they go to temples for this task. You’ll probably see Chinese occupied with this activity or find the ghost money on the ground with ashes and remains if your area has Chinese people around. They want to give the ghosts the money they need during their special month.
[SkyFuji: Please take note not to step on the ghost money or ashes or remains or even take the fruits placed around. According to my customs, it will cause the ghost whom those offerings are being offered to to attach themselves to you.]
People also light incense and may make sacrifices of food to worship the hungry unhappy ghosts. People trust that the ghosts won’t do something terrible to them or curse them after eating their sacrifices and while holding their money. They put up red painted paper lanterns everywhere including business and residential areas.
There are street ceremonies, market ceremonies, and temple ceremonies. During street and market ceremonies, people gather at the streets and markets to celebrate the festival. At temple ceremonies, monks in temples organize festive activities. Many believe it is important to appease the ghosts to avoid spiritual attack.