The Hungry Ghosts Festival

Our post today once again comes from Joyce Chng. Her fiction has appeared in The Apex Book of World SF IIWe See A Different FrontierCranky Ladies of History, and Accessing The Future. Joyce co-edited THE SEA IS OURS: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia with Jaymee Goh. Her RPG experience started with Demon: The Descent (Onyx Path). She also writes about werewolves in Singapore and werewolf clan wars in space.

The Seventh Month or the Ghost Month has begun. It is believed that the gates of hell have opened, allowing all ghosts to roam the earth. All the deceased visit their living relatives who will prepare offerings in the form of sumptuous meals and burn paper items like money, houses and cars as well as joss sticks to appease them. The ghosts are also angry and vengeful during this month.

Things Not To Do During Hungry Ghosts Festival

  1. Don’t stay out too late at night

It is believed that ghosts and spirits are out wandering the streets at night, hence children and adults are warned not to stay out too late lest they get possessed.

  1. Don’t swim

Ghosts who were drowned will drag victims down to a watery grave so that they can reincarnate quickly.

  1. Don’t start something new

People are warned not to start anything new this month. They have to avoid moving into new houses, starting new ventures and businesses, and even getting married. This month is considered a very inauspicious month. That is why there will be a flurry of weddings in the months before and after.

  1. Don’t whistle after the sun sets

Whistling apparently attracts the ghosts and spirits who will attach themselves to you and bring you bad luck.

  1. Don’t step on burnt offerings on the floor

Ghost Month often turns sidewalks and pathways in Singapore into potential minefields! If you step on burnt offerings, the spirits will become massively offended and will visit harm upon you. Note: Also remember not to pick anything up from the floor, not even money, and bring it home. Spirits are attached to these items and will follow you.

  1. Don’t sob

Being emotional at night is an open invitation to ghosts and spirits to harm a person.

There you go. Six things to avoid during this fraught month! It’s a wonder people still get things done.



  1. […] The taboos of Hungry Ghosts’ Festival […]

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