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10 taboos to avoid on final day of Ghost Month in Taiwan

Special observances and customs to follow as gates of hell close

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Taboos to avoid on the final day of Ghost Month. (Pexels photo)

Taboos to avoid on the final day of Ghost Month. (Pexels photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Thursday (Sept. 14) is the last day of Ghost Month (鬼月), the seventh month of the lunar calendar, a time when Good Brothers (好兄弟) return to the underworld and the gates of hell (鬼門 ) officially close for one year.

According to fortune teller Xiao-Meng (小孟) of Pure Mo (清水孟), there are 10 taboos the public should avoid on the final day when the gates of hell remain open. His recommendations are as follows, per UDN.

1. Magnets. Do not place magnets in your home the night before the gates of hell close, as they will absorb spiritual energy, potentially preventing Good Brothers from leaving.

2. Food offerings for Pudu (普度) worship must all be eaten. If not, Good Brothers may be drawn to your home for another feast and may not want to leave.

3. Do not listen to Buddhist scriptures. Good Brothers may feel offended as you are appealing to a higher power and may not want to leave. This could also cause you to have nightmares.

4. Do not apply floral fragrances. If floral scents are too strong on the final day of Ghost Month, Good Brothers could be attracted to your home.

5. Put away dolls. Good Brothers could be tempted to inhabit and possess them.

6. Do not light candles at night. Good Brothers could be attracted to a faint light and be reluctant to leave.

7. Do not say goodbye. Good Brothers may hear these words and visit you.

8. Do not complain to your ancestors. Appealing to ancestors about family matters could spur your ancestors to return to the spirit world with resentment and affect your family's fortune.

9. Do not attempt to resolve your karmic creditors. Actions such as reciting sutras on the final day of Ghost Month may attract Good Brothers, who may seek you out the next time the gates of hell open.

10. Avoid giving birth on the final day of Ghost Month. If one happens to give birth on this day, a special prayer should be made to the Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, asking for protection and assistance in achieving a successful birth and preventing Good Brothers from returning to the mortal world in the form of a newborn.