Monday, 24 August 2009

Demons at The Gate

The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is locally referred to as "ghost month". The gates of hell open for a month and ghosts escape to do their deeds, misadventures, or whatever it is ghosts do. Probably eat doughnuts and go swimming. I hear hell doesn't have any pools and their ocean dried up do to rising temperatures. Obviously, global warming is a universal problem.

Swimming is something that more than a few Taiwanese will tell you to avoid during this month. Ghosts like to come up into the sea and find people to drown. This is one of the most observed religious celebrations for the pious. Many families will "拜拜" (pronounced like "bye bye") or pay respects/worship by giving food and burning things for the ghosts. These offerings are usually paper things to appease the ghosts. Houses, money, cars, and food are the most popular things given to the ghosts.

The temple by my house organized a huge 中元普渡 "zhong yuan pu du". This is a "拜拜" festival for the ghost gate opening. See picture above. Its a gutted pig with blood dripping out of its nose into a bucket. Beware them demons in the mortar of ye homes.