Taiwan Quick Take: Ghost Month fuels surgeries

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

Mon, Jul 24, 2006 - Page 3

People are lining up at hospitals to get their surgical procedures done before the start of Ghost Month, the Chinese-language Apple Daily said yesterday. A survey of large hospitals nationwide by the newspaper showed that surgeries have increased by 10 to 30 percent in recent weeks as patients do not want to undergo operations during the Ghost Month. Chinese traditionally believe that in the Ghost Month, the door of the underworld opens so that the spirits of the dead can come back to the human world and partake in the offerings of food prepared by their family members. Ghost Month, the seventh month of the lunar calendar, begins tomorrow. Fearing that the spirits could make trouble if they are offended, many people avoid getting married, having surgery, moving, conducting business transactions or going on long journeys during Ghost Month.