It is considered the scariest period of the year. Nope, we’re not talking about Halloween or All Souls’ Day.
We’re one week into Ghost Month and while it is not generally considered a major event here in the Philippines, many Filipinos couldn’t help but be cautious just the same. Who isn’t nervous of the consequences in case we upset lost, wandering spirits that we might encounter during this period? (Although, honestly, being ghosted might be more worrying for some.)
According to Chinese tradition, Ghost Month is the period when souls are given a “one-month parole” to roam among the living. A major Taoist and Buddhist celebration, it falls on the seventh month of the lunar calendar (that’s from July 29 until Aug. 29 this year). Its peak is on the 15th day (that’s on Aug. 12) when all the ghosts have finally made their way out.
Aside from China, other countries that observe Ghost Month Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan and India. What makes Ghost Month different from other festivals that honor the dead is that it also pays respect to homeless spirits, or those who are without family.
Better safe than sorry, as the English proverb says. Here are some easy tips on how to placate our “good brothers” and “good sisters”—a better, more respectful way to call them, instead of “ghosts”—while drawing positive energy and attracting good luck to our living spaces.
It is said that spirits tend to lie in wait in gloomy and rarely used corners of a home. Light brings positive energy to a space. Feng shui experts recommend keeping living spaces, including hallways and corners, brightly lit so that you may counter the negative energy that hungry ghosts bring.
If a corner or a hallway has no lighting fixture installed, here’s your chance to put those decorative floor or desk lamps you proudly bought from your flea market trips to good use. See to it though that you’re using energy efficient LED bulbs. There’s nothing more positive than choosing to be earth-friendly and economical.
Sprinkle some rock salt on your doorstep, window sills and corners of the house, especially hidden ones. Salt is believed to counter bad energy so a dash of salt in these places in your home is said to dispel negativity.
When it comes to picking colors for your curtains, sheets and pillowcases, go for bright, cheerful. Yellows, oranges, pinks and pastel colors encourage positive energy and give spaces an uplifting mood.
Avoid black, white and red for the time being—black because it is generally a ghost’s favorite color, white because it is traditionally worn at funerals, and red because it is said to stir up strong emotions in spirits.
The key, according to feng shui experts, is to appease wandering souls and hungry ghosts so that they won’t cause us any trouble which may result in bad luck. Make offerings of incense sticks by lighting these up as spirits are believed to feed on its sweet smell, making them feel that we’re not antagonizing them.
Keep your spaces clean
It is often said that a clean place makes a happy space. Keep your home tidy to allow chi or positive energy to freely flow through it thus protecting us, its occupants. Clutter, dirt and dust are considered negative elements so these hinder positive energy to do its job.
Feng shui experts also suggest playing upbeat and relaxing tunes as happy music keeps unwanted spirits away. If you have a water fountain at home, keep it on as well. The sound of trickling water is soothing and a wealth enhancer, too.
Sources: Inquirer Archives, Eresources.nlb.gov.sg, Oftaiwan.org, Maritessallen.com
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