Don’t you love the end of summer? Kids going back to school, pumpkin spice replacing strawberry everything, ghosts no longer invading your laundry…truly it’s a wonderful time.
What’s that? You don’t think ghosts are invading your laundry? Oh, you poor, poor innocent.
In Taiwan, and indeed in much of the world, the seventh month of the lunar calendar is 鬼月, Ghost Month. This is the time when spirits are given a summer holiday from the afterlife, and may return to Earth to visit, sight-see, and generally behave like Americans on Spring Break.
Now, what is it all twenty-somethings in Cancun want? A good time, more money, and things in their mouths.
Ghosts are no different, and if you’re tired of being haunted around August, it’s probably because the local ghosts think you’re cheap and standoff-ish. Maybe work on that. Try to be a good host by burning ghost money, or setting out some flowers.
Not to victim blame, but you might also not be considering how tempting it might be to haunt you. Did you leave laundry outside to dry overnight? Pockets are like phantom hostels. Did you whistle after sundown? Way to let everyone know where you are, you anti-ninja. Did you move? Ghosts, like cockroaches, enjoy crawling into warm things, and that’s how you end up with them in your new house. Get married? Oh, buddy. Just enroll now in counseling.
Ghost Month ends in the Ghost Festival, a time to celebrate those who have gone before, and prepare for the harvest. It was last week, so anything you do now is because you just naturally attract Poltergeists. May we recommend a nice sage shampoo? That should clear everything right up. If you want to be sure you have no hungry ghosts, a bonfire of ghost money, incense, and small tokens plus a small feast (minimum 10 courses!) is always advisable. Invite me, too, I freakin’ love bonfires. Even if we’re not sure if that’s a ghost in your pocket.
I hope all is well with your ghouls and schools, stay safe in all this horrible weather!