8 Superstitions of the 7th Month For You Scaredy Cats!
The smell of burning incense and luminous line of burning red candles, are you ready to carefully tread the streets at night this month? When come night fall for the Lunar 7th Month, things are more mysterious and scarier than usual! Believers usually abide by some unsaid rules to keep themselves safe, what are these rules you might ask? Well, here are 8 common superstitions of the 7th Month!
Watch where you’re stepping!
It’s not an unfamiliar sight in the 7th Month to see offerings placed along curbs like a haunting boundary line. That also means it’s really easy to stumble into one if you’re not careful! The reason why our parents and elders chided at us not to step onto any offerings is a simple one; you’re stepping on what the spirits are consuming! You wouldn’t like it if someone comes stomping into your rice bowl, would you? (No you don’t we answer for you!)
But on the off chance you did mess up one, by accident we hope, put the items back in order and apologise immediately, give a quick prayer!
Get home early, be like Cinderella!
If you’re a home-body who loves chilling out at home, good for you! But a fair warning for those of you who thrives in the night life, outdoor kind no less, you’re more likely to bump into strangers of the night, creepy! As the night symbolises Yin energy, the spirits are essentially on home turf after the sun’s down. Why do you want to soak in all that undead vibe, when you have Netflix?
Prevention is the best protection, save yourself the trouble and just go home lah! #dontplayplay
Curiosity killed the cat
Speaking of wondering around at night, if you’re by yourself and you hear something, we advise you mai gei kiang and walk away! Here are some of the common warning signs for you blur sotongs; sweet smells that may be floral, soft whispering or sobbing, or if you hear someone call out for you. If you feel a tap on your shoulder and you’re totally alone, don’t turn around, make a beeline towards places with people or home!
Trust your gut, if the situation feels whacky, leave and don’t look back. But watch where you’re stepping too!
If it’s not yours, leave it alone
Don’t itchy hand and pick up a seemingly free coin, or notes on the ground. Leave them be, because it might not be for you! Money is sometimes used as offerings to the spirits; that should be a strong enough reason why you don’t go claiming those as yours. Don’t be stubborn to try and keep those lost-and-founds, put them back and give a small prayer of apology!
The last thing you’d want is to have rotten luck, and ghostly incidents happening in the comfort of your home!
Selfie by the offerings? Bad idea!
Here’s where modern technology and mythos collide; cameras are said to have the ability to trap lurking spirits. #OMG! You don’t want to be spotting extra figures in your photos, it’s pure bad omen to keep those images! Not only it’s rude towards the spirits, but you could be angering them and inviting unwanted company (haunting) to mess with you.
Think about it this way: you’re hungry, enjoying yourself a well-deserved meal after a long day, but suddenly a random person runs up to your meal and starts taking selfies with it! Confirm weird and annoying right? Same for the spirits.
Under the altar, not for you to see
Credit: Archdiocese of Miami
Altars set up this 7th Month could be simple tables draped with red cloth over, or something even fancier. Ever wondered the coverage? It’s believed that below the altar is where the hungry ghosts eat, we don’t want to disturb them too. They’re rather irritable while eating, considering they’ve been starving for a year in hell.
However, it’s also common sense not to mess with a set up with burning candles on it, not the right things to be setting ablaze this festival!
Leave the bugs alone!
There’s a belief that our ancestors may reincarnate as insects or animals, and they might come back to visit us in those forms! So, you can imagine the magnitude of ‘oopsie’ if you actually slapped your great-great-grand aunt away, even though they’re a moth now. #creepers It’s common knowledge to just leave them be, and try hard not to panic if you’re one of us who’s dead afraid of insects!
But we’ll call it truce, for the sake of not angering any potential ancestors.
Don’t be the body in ‘Water-bodies’
Steer clear from any bodies of water for the whole month, just don’t do it! We’ve watched Incredible Tales (#tb for y’all big babies!), those who lingered too long by the sea or lakes in the deep night disappeared entirely, or come back changed. But why are these places are so unlucky? That’s because the environment is saturated with Yin energy! The quiet of the beach, or stillness of the lake, makes a perfect eerie setting in the dead of night.
It’s also said that vengeful water spirits who died drowning, will drag the living into the water as their ‘substitute’, thus freeing them from this cursed limbo. #nothankyou
It’s doesn’t take someone who’s well-versed in the Lunar 7th Month lore to be able to keep oneself safe from offending the spirits. Treat the culture and rituals with respect, keep unsolicited comments to yourself, and you’ll get through this period safely!