Hungry ghost month affects decision-making

This piece is chock full of Philippine superstitious beliefs.

It’s that time of year again – Manila Standard Today.

According to Chinese culture, the Gates of the Spirit both from Heaven and Hell open and release spirits to freely roam the Earth. On Aug. 21, the 15th day, the Hungry Ghost Festival is observed when it is believed that spirits are in their heightened state. On Sept. 4, spirits are said to depart the Earthly plane and the Gates of Hell finally closes.

“It is a believed that during this month, the gate of the spirit world opens to let the spirits visit their loved ones. That is why most Chinese practice rituals like burning incense and paper money for the spirits to use and offering lots of food for them to eat. Hungry ghosts are wandering ghosts with no specific families that they can return to, so they go to their neighbors to look for food. That is why they are called hungry ghosts,” said feng shui expert Johnson Chua.

Hungry Ghost month spirits may be mischievous and dangerous. Chua, an expert in the nonsense practice of feng shui, says people usually avoid big deals and events during this month because the spirits may interfere. Of course you can get charms to protect you.

I once had a Filipino office colleague. His desk area was a clutter of charms and objects to ward off bad luck. He was constantly uttering “God forbid” and other such sayings to undo potential harm. It was concerning to see someone so tied up and bound by these superstitions that it interfered with normal life functions and communication with others. The occasional superstitious belief may be no big deal but when it controls your life, it is harmful.

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  4 comments for “Hungry ghost month affects decision-making

  1. Massachusetts
    August 4, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Though if everyone in your community believes and practices these rituals but you don’t, that may actually interfere with your daily life and success interacting with others, even though the beliefs may be baseless.

    PS Speaking of ghosts and tbe gates of hell and such, I just saw The Conjuring. It was a creepy movie with some jump out of your seat moments for sure (I know a grown woman who’s been sleeping with the lights on, literally, since her viewing), however, I can see how it does serve to bolster a false mythogy.

    It really bothered me (spoiler alert) that they implied the Salem witches were actually Satan-worshipping witches, when they were clearly innocent people railroaded and wrongly killed. It’s an historical travesty to do that, especially when claiming that the film depicts actual events.

  2. One Eyed Jack
    August 4, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    It really bothered me (spoiler alert) that they implied the Salem witches were actually Satan-worshipping witches, when they were clearly innocent people railroaded and wrongly killed. It’s an historical travesty to do that, especially when claiming that the film depicts actual events.

    Excellent point.

  3. Massachusetts
    August 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Thanks!

  4. Miranda
    September 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    The Hungry Ghosts Festival isn’t Filipino superstition. It’s Chinese.

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