Description: A month dedicated to ghosts as they come to the land of the living and wander the streets. The ghosts would stay starting from the first day of the seventh month of the Lunar Calendar. During this time, people would leave food and other object offerings to the hungry ghosts.
Background: As the informant lived in Taiwan, the ghosts month traditions are commonly seen every year.
BL: So there is a month we do in Taiwan, it’s hard to miss. It’s called the month of ghosts or something like that. It’s the month when ghosts come out, so people have to leave stuff outside their house to give the ghosts. So you see stuff like food or clothes and stuff. Sometimes people would also put baby shoes outside. It kind of has a creepy vibe when it’s the middle of the night and there is all this stuff outside people’s doors.
Me: When is the month?
BL: It follows the Lunar calendar so it starts at around the first day of the seventh month. People also put incense and stuff like that too.
The first thing I thought of were other holidays that celebrate the dead. Halloween and Dias de los Muertos come to mind. As the dead, such as ancestors and dead family members, are very prevalent throughout many Asian traditions, it isn’t shocking to see that Taiwan has an entire month dedicated to appeasing the ghosts. Personally, I hope that ghosts exist as it shows that we will have an afterlife. Though the food and offerings obviously don’t go to the ghosts, I think it is the thought that counts. It’s a tradition that makes people remember those who have passed away.