Precautions during Hungry Ghost Month
Hungry Ghost Month is arguably the most frightening month for the Chinese as they believe that as Hell Gate is open the lost souls or ‘hungry’ spirits are allowed to return to the human world.
Phor Thor Kong (in Hokkien dialect) or Hungry Ghost Month which falls on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar is used to pay homage to Tai Su Yeah (King of Hell) and the underworld. Millions over the ages have encountered spooky and weird experiences during Hungry Ghost Month not only with deceased ancestors but also with demons and spirits from prematurely or justly death and seeking revenge. The precautiouns is to help prevent such spooky occurrences during that month.
Paper Money offering during Hungry Ghost Festival
1) Don’t pee on trees as it might offend the spirits which resides there (I don’t understand, why would anyone would one to pee on top of a tree)
2) People should not wander late at night (no more clubbing – at least for that month!)
3) Avoid swimming (as people have dragged underwater)
4) Do not carry an umbrella into your house (which might be carried by spirits)
I would like to stop at Precautions at no. 4 and continue later, as I have a tale about carrying an umbrella to a home.
The Ong family lived in Kota Tinggi in a residential house in the state of Johore. One day after raining heavily, Helen drove their son, 7 year old Timmy, to their car. When they reached their house, Helen had to carry Timmy and their grocery in their umbrella. Helen was busy drying Timmy and she left her umbrella in the dining room. One of her neighbor (kepo ‘aunty’) came to their house and she making a fuss about the umbrella in the house. She claimed that one shouldn’t that it is forbidden to bring an umbrella home as it may carry it with a ghost especially during Hungry Ghost month.