Travelling During Hungry Ghost Month
We’re now in the Hungry Ghost Month, and it’s not about commemorating your nocturnal kitchen raids for snacks at 3am.
Every year, during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, Buddhists and Taoists worldwide believe that the gates of hell swing open, releasing souls of the deceased who met violent or unhappy ends, or were forgotten by their ancestors.
So, if you have travel plans between now to 14 September 2023, beware.
Here’s a guide to seven crucial points to remember while traveling during the Hungry Ghost Month.
Choose Your Hotel Room Carefully
Avoid the last room in the hallway when checking into a hotel.
Hotel staff usually assign guests to rooms near the lobby for convenience and efficiency in delivering room and housekeeping services. This means rooms at the corridor’s end are often empty, attracting less Yang energy and more Yin spirits, which may leave you feeling drained or uneasy.
But, hey, you’ll need all the energy you can muster to create 100 travel TikToks the next day, right? So, request a room change if you’re assigned one at the corridor’s end.
Knock Before Entering
Your superstitious parents probably nagged you about this, but here’s a refresher: Knock thrice or ring the doorbell before entering your hotel or Airbnb room. It’s a courteous way to inform any spirits present that you’re entering their space for the night.
Avoid Opening All Cabinets and Closets Simultaneously
Wondering who does this? Us too!
Maybe you’re a Karen, eager to unpack everyone’s luggage ASAP. Or perhaps you’re setting up a makeshift obstacle course to passive-aggressively tell your travel buddies they’ve been oversleeping.
Regardless, avoid opening all cabinets and closets at once to prevent disturbing any lingering spirits and give them time to adjust to your presence.
Don’t Position a Mirror Opposite Your Bed
We know you adore yourself. Who doesn’t wish their phone’s front camera was HD-quality for perfect selfies?
But unless you want uninvited company admiring your beauty, avoid placing mirrors opposite your bed. Fengshui experts advise against this as bedroom mirrors can attract spirit visits.
If the mirror is fixed, cover it with spare towels or sheets. Ensure your reflection isn’t visible from any angle before sleeping.
After all, a ghost probably won’t find your bedhead cute.
Avoid Leaning on Walls
Your friend instructs you to “act casual” for a “candid” OOTD photo, so you lean against a wall in your impractical but Instagram-worthy outfit.
Although a rustic wall in a hipster area would earn you #cultured and #livinglikealocal points, skip this photo op. Hungry ghosts reportedly cling to walls or occupy empty spaces, causing some pets to bark at walls or thin air during the seventh month.
Creepy, right? So, unless you want more than dirt sticking to you after your #OOTD shoot, steer clear of random walls and alleys.
Swim Before Sunset
Remember the romantic movie “Before Sunset”?
Well, horror time!
Avoid swimming during the Hungry Ghost month, as evil spirits that drowned might pull you underwater, granting them a chance at rebirth. And as films like “Lights Out” and “Paranormal Activity” taught us, darkness amplifies sinister activities. Chinese beliefs state that ghosts draw Yin energy from the moon, increasing their presence at night. Western psychic activity reports also link increased activity to lunar cycles, so maybe skip that moonlit swim.
Feeling FOMO? Don’t worry, you can always swim when you return to Singapore – we’re surrounded by water!
Don’t Skimp on Transport Tickets
Tempted by that $8 off-peak midnight train ticket between cities? Already spent too much on souvenirs?
Resist the urge to be frugal and book a day ticket instead, especially if you’re traveling solo. Rumor has it that the last transport of the day is teeming with ghost commuters targeting lonely travelers.
Not exactly the soulmate encounter you were hoping for on a romantic train journey, huh?
Traveling during the Hungry Ghost Month requires some precautions. So, remember these tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll avoid any supernatural encounters.
And remember, Singapore might be a small red dot, but our culture and traditions are as vast as the ocean surrounding us. Happy travels, and don’t forget to share your travel TikToks!
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