Ghost Month, which falls in the seventh month of the lunar calendar, began in Taiwan on Friday last week and runs through Sept. 12.
Traditional Taiwanese beliefs hold that the door of the underworld opens during Ghost Month so that the spirits of the dead can come back to the human world and partake in the offerings of food prepared by family members.
There are a number of things that many people avoid doing during Ghost Month, including not whistling — especially after dark — as whistling is thought to attract evil spirits and once they have been lured, they could follow the person around for a long time, bringing ill fortune.
If someone pats you on the shoulder, do not just turn your head to see who it is. Since some people believe that the living have two protective flames, one on each shoulder, if a ghost pats you on the back and you only turn your head, you will snuff out that protective flame and become vulnerable. To avoid this, turn the whole body instead of just the head.
People are advised not to go swimming, because it is believed that evil spirits who drowned might try to drown a swimmer to gain a chance at rebirth.
Laundry hanging on a clothes line outside should be brought inside before nightfall, lest devious spirits don your clothes as a way to sneak into your home.
Rare insects inside a home should not be killed as some believe that their ancestors come to visit relatives after being reincarnated as a rare insect.
The definition of “rare” is debatable, but basically it would include any kind of insect that is rarely spotted inside your home such as butterflies, grasshoppers or moths. Roaches are not included.
Some other important things to avoid doing during Ghost Month include anything that one would not want having bad luck associated with, such as launching a new business venture, moving into a new home or getting married.
Taoist temples often put on an “Eight Generals” (八家將) performance or parade during this time.
The Eight Generals act as a kind of spiritual police force to ward off, nab and punish evil spirits.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn