The month of the Hungry Ghosts

The month of the Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghost Month in 2022 is starting the 29th of July and will end on the 26th of August. Traditionally, Chinese and Buddhists believe it to be a period when the Gates of Hell are wide open, allowing « ghosts » to wander freely among us. It is said that there are many spirits roaming around, looking for food, since they are « hungry ». In order to keep them appeased and on a safe distance so that they won’t bring any problems to the family and household, it is advised to feeding them, by making some incense offerings during this period, and especially on the full moon of the 7th lunar month (the night of 11th and 12th of August 2022).

Over the years, I have been taught many pieces of advice to take in consideration during the Hungry Ghosts month and I’m more than happy to share them with you today. Don’t hesitate to follow them, if you wish to stay safe during this period.

  • Like I mentioned before: try to burn some incense every evening or at least 2-3 times a week. The only way for the ghosts to be appeased, is by « eating » the smoke of your burnings.
  • You should not go swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes after sundown.
  • Yin Qi will dominate in hospitals, in empty lots, in houses built over ancient gravesites or located near cemeteries. Try to avoid these places as much as possible. 
  • Avoid camping, hiking and trekking this month as chances of injuries and illness are high, especially if these places are located nearby water ponds.
  • Don’t stay out late at night (especially pregnant women and young children) and avoid taking the public transport very late at night as it is believed to be filled with spirits during this month.
  • Don’t wait alone under a tree, and men, please don’t urinate in the wild after sunset.
  • Don’t leave your clothes outside overnight during this month. It is believed that the shape of your clothes may attract visiting spirits who might leave some negative energy in your garments.
  • You must not pick up any money or coins that you come across on the road.
  • It is believed that everyone possesses three flaming lights on the body (one on the head, and one on each shoulder). Avoid to tap someone on their head or to place a hand on one’s shoulders during this month as you mind end up weakening these spiritual lights and thereby increasing the chances of being affected by wandering spirits. For the same reason, avoid wearing caps and hats at sundown. 
  • Wear bright colors this month and leave a light with an economic lightbulb on, even during the night.
  • And, probably the most important advice is the one about the day of August 12th. On that day:
    • Don’t ask for help (i.e. don’t do activations!), but rather give it. Offer to help a friend who could need your support.
    • be generous.
    • yin is not necessarily a negative force, this energy also allows you to recharge and regenerate.

Indeed, this period of hungry ghosts is linked to Buddhist beliefs and practices. From a purely Feng Shui point of view there is absolutely nothing to do or to fear. It is more a matter of cultural beliefs. 

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