Sunday, August 15, 2010

Month of ghosts

It's the Ghost Month, according to the Chinese calendar. For the year 2010, it started last August 9. The Hungry Ghost Festival itself is on August 24, 2010. It's supposed to be the time when the gates to the underworld open, thus the ghosts come back to visit the living.

This is the time that wedding and wedding planning are put on hold, major operations are postponed even if you have health savings account, moving houses or even moving furniture around is frowned upon. No opening of new businesses either.

It's because this is the month where it is considered to be bad luck to do any of the above.

Usually, the Asian stock market does not have much liquidity because there is little trading activity as Chinese who believe in the Ghost Month try not to spend at this time.

Prayers and offerings, burning joss sticks and paper money (not real paper money but those made for offerings) are done at this time. Food offerings are also done to feed the ghosts who might visit.

Does our family observe this? We have to--it's tradition.