This article discusses the background of Taiwanese Ghost Month culture and taboos followed by most people in Taiwan.
“Ghost Month” in Taiwan refers to the seventh month of the lunar calendar. During this spooky month, Taoists and Buddhists believe that the gates of underworld are opened for starving spirits to come to our world in search of food, money, entertainment, and even souls. “Hungry ghosts” are beings that were sent to the underworld with hunger or without a proper burial. Instead, we call them Good Brothers and Good Sisters in a more polite way. Many taboos then are observed in Taiwanese society to avoid these brothers and sisters.
For example, a few people avoid saying or using the word “Ghost” because they believe that doing so will lure evil spirits. Here below are three more useful tips to avoid hungry spirits’ visit.
Knock on the door before getting into a hotel room for the first time. Then step in sideways to avoid a head-on collision with a hungry spirit while entering the room.
An umbrella is traditionally believed to be a place where souls and ghosts gather. If someone holds an umbrella indoors, Good Brothers and Good Sisters are likely to be lured underneath it.
At midnight during the Ghost Month, avoid taking the last bus or train just in case hungry spirits follow us home.
The above are examples of Ghost Month Taboos, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, you don’t want to invole in any trouble related to ghosts.
Ghost → (名詞) 鬼
Refer to → (動詞) 指
Spooky → (形容詞) 幽靈般的
Lunar calendar → (名詞) 農曆
Taoist → (名詞) 道教人士
Buddhists → (名詞) 佛教人士
Gate → (名詞) 柵門
Underworld → hell → (名詞) 陰界
Starving → very hungry → (形容詞) 飢腸轆轆的
Proper → (形容詞) 合適的
Burial → (名詞) 埋葬
Taboo → (名詞) 禁忌
Avoid → (動詞) 避免
In case → (連接詞) 萬一
It’s better to be safe than sorry → 寧可信其有
Involve → (動詞) 涉及