Though we’ve all had more than our fair share of bad luck this year already (thanks, 2020), this next few weeks are going to be especially rough. Why? It’s Ghost Month, which (according to Chinese astrology) is when the gates of the underworld supposedly open, letting spirits wander among the living, visiting their families and/or looking for victims (eep!). Ghost Month always falls on the seventh month of the lunar year, and this year, it falls from August 19 to September 16. Here’s what you can do to avoid falling prey to bad juju:
DON’T get married
If you’re planning on getting married, buying a new car, moving to a new home, or starting a new job, etc. etc., now is not the best time to do so. Superstitions say that starting anything on Ghost Month dooms it to misfortune, so best not to tempt the fates and just postpone it to when the spiritual world calms down.
DO keep things well-lit
Spirits are said to be attracted to dark, gloomy places, so make sure that your space is the complete opposite. Keep the light on in common areas and make sure to have spare lightbulbs, just in case.
DON’T go out late at night
Ghosts are especially active after dark, so it’s advisable that we all avoid being out late at night. Fortunately(?), this’ll be super easy for most of us, thanks to the 8 pm curfew.
DO stay home
Now is a terrible time to travel, not just because of the pandemic and travel bans, but because the spirits will make you more accident-prone. Most of us are staying home 24/7 nowadays, but in the off-chance that you’re thinking about taking a trip, wait until the end of Ghost Month. Also, avoid visiting “yin” or negative places like funerals, cemeteries, or hospitals.
DON’T wear dark colors and high heels
Stay away from dark colors. Instead, wear bright, vibrant colors — but not red. Though red is considered a lucky color in Chinese culture, the reverse is true during Ghost Month, because ghosts are supposed to be attracted to red. And though most of us haven’t seen our high heels since the quarantine started, it’s best to keep them tucked away; it’s said that elevating your feet from the ground makes you more vulnerable to being possessed by bad spirits.
DO leave out peace offerings
Some people leave out offerings to appease hungry ghosts. You can leave food offerings outside, or burn sweet-smelling incense every evening.
DON’T leave your laundry out at night
Leaving damp clothing to hang overnight is apparently an invitation for wandering spirits to try them on and possibly follow you back inside when you bring the clothes in. But in the first place, you should really dry your laundry when the sun is out anyway. And if you were caught in the rain on the way home, don’t open your umbrella inside to dry it out, because ghosts could take shelter underneath.
DO be gentle to the creepy crawlies
Insects like moths and butterflies are believed to be spirits of ancestors visiting their families. So don’t kill insects with slippers or shoo them outside.
Do you believe in Ghost Month? What are you doing to avoid bad luck?