HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL (盂蘭節) (中元普渡節) – 2020
Every year, the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar ( August 19 – September 16, 2020) in Asia, especially in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, is known as the Hungry Ghost Month. The Hungry Ghost Festival will be on September 2, 2020, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.
The Hungry Ghost Festival offers an excellent opportunity to care for the destitute and misfortune spirits. Hungry ghosts cannot eat or drink; they can only smell smoke and are appeased by the offering of incense or other items burn and chanted mantras.
The ghosts and spirits, including the deceased ancestors, will come out from the lower realm (地獄) to the Northeastern part of the planet. During this month, living descendants will offer incense and fruit (please do not eat the fruit after you provide) to the deceased ancestors and burn items made from papier-mâché, such as clothes, “gold bars,” and appliances.
We will also offer incense to the spirits from September 1 – 7 every night. You can light incense at the front or back of the house after dusk. Please recite the following mantra while offering incense to the local spirits; it will create good karma for your family since you’re providing food to the homeless souls.
It would be best if you avoided the following activities during the Hungry Ghost month:
You should not stay out late at night, as the spirits might follow you home.
You should not take selfies at night. Otherwise, your camera might capture the image of a spirit.
You should not kill moths; we believe your family members and loved ones to be reincarnated spirits, who are just dropping by to see you.
You should not play any spirit games; otherwise, you will attract the spirit to join you.
You should avoid swimming at night, as evil spirits are said to linger in water and drown people for a rebirth.
You should not open an umbrella indoor, as an umbrella is believed to be a vehicle for spirits traveling into your home.
You should not blow a whistle or sing at night. Whistling or singing might attract spirits during this month.
You should not look back at night; it may be the spirit tapping your shoulder to cover your “protective flame.” Humans have three “protective flame” on your body – left shoulder, right shoulder, and forehead.
You should not sit in the first row of the opera performances and movie cinema, as we mostly reserve the first front row for entertaining the spirits.
22% off for all the incense, incense powder and sage from August 19 – September 16.
Incense Offering Ritual
Every night on all the days of the Hungry Ghost month especially from September 1 – 7, offer sweet Smelling incense while chanting the following mantra as you walk clockwise around each room and outside your home while holding your incense burner:
“Namah Sarva Tathagatha Avalokite Om Sambhara Sambhara Hung”
After completing the walk-about your home, dedicate all the incense and offerings to the spiritual protectors, landlords, wandering spirits and ancestral ghosts around you and request that they look after you instead of harm you.
Protection and Cures
We also recommend placing an image of at least one of these protectors (see below) in your home and office. If possible, always wear some kind of protection on your body. If you wear mantras given to you by high lamas or holy men, do make sure the mantras touch your body, as this is what ensures your body does not get hurt.
Kuan Kung (關公)
The general Guan Yu (關羽), later known as Kuan Kung, is one of the most famous of generals in Chinese history. Deified as the God of War, Kuan Kung eventually became acknowledged also as the God of Wealth, especially when it came to defeating the competition. Kuan Kung thus plays many roles and is the most useful of the Taoist deities to have in the home. Displaying his image inside the house facing the front door ensures his fierce countenance will frighten off any kind of ‘killing breath’. His countenance is believed to prevent negative forces from entering the home and that is why the fiercer his face is, the better. Remember, he is most powerful when placed directly facing the main door.
This deity is famous in Chinese mythology as the “ghost catcher.” It is said that his image alone is sufficient to chase all wandering spirits away; thus Chung Kwei is often invited into homes as he personifies powerful protection against harmful influences. His presence is sure to ward off evil and disturbing ghostly influences. This deity is usually depicted with bats to symbolize abundant happiness and good fortune.
Fu Dogs (Pair) or Fu Dogs with rock
Fu Dogs are mythical creatures shown playing with a ball. They are believed to have the power to ward off evil influences. A pair of Fu Dogs with rock is recommended placed high flanking the main gate to guard offices and homes. Place the male (the one with the ball) on the left side of the door (inside looking out) and the female on the right hand side. Please do not sweat if you got it wrong. All you need is to change sides – there are no ill effects to getting the genders on either side wrong.
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