Albert is an American expat in the Philippines. He recently moved to Makati City for a 3-month assignment for his multinational investment company. He’s heard that many Asians take caution in placing investments during the ghost month. The idea of spirits roaming the streets, scaring off investors, baffled his occidental mind. How can such superstitious belief stay alive in metropolitan cities in this part of the world?
The ghost month is of Buddhist and Taoist tradition and observed in many Asian societies. For 2017, it starts on August 22 and ends on September 19. During this period, spirits, including ghosts of dead family, roam the earth. In some instances, it is believed that troublesome spirits cause misfortune to the living. Investors shy away from capital markets because of fear of imminent losses, and people avoid traveling long distances to avoid accidents.
Although the Philippines is predominantly Christian, many Filipinos take precaution during the Buddhist ghost month. Anyway, where’s the harm in being a little more careful for a month each year? Here are 7 tips to prepare your condo for the ghost month.
Avoid holding house parties
In Buddhist and Taoist cultures, people refrain from holding any house parties during the ghost month. Holding housewarming and other celebratory events in your home could inadvertently invite wandering spirits. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should stay gloomy for a month. DMCI Properties feature indoor amenities such as function halls where you can have your birthday party or get-together.
It is also believed that ghosts could enter house as you move items into a new unoccupied space. Avoid moving to a new house or buying new furniture during the ghost month. If moving is unavoidable, you should do it during daylight hours only.
Go for bright palettes in your home
What condo design can help repel spirits during the ghost month? Buddhists and Taoists believe that the colors red and black attract ghosts. Thus, people refrain wearing clothes in these shades. Avoid using curtains, pillow covers and rugs in red and black. However, some houses display light red lanterns at their window and balcony to fend off troublesome spirits.You can go for bright palettes such as yellows, oranges and greens. Yellow is considered a very powerful color against bad luck during this month.
Light up dark places
It’s a popular belief that evil spirits lurk in the dark. In Buddhist and Taoism beliefs, the world is divided into two energies: the yin and the yang. The yin generates its power from the moon and the yang is strengthened by the sun. The yin is regarded as the negative force complementing the positive yang. During the ghost month, it is believed that evil spirits are at their strongest in the dark or at night. Everyone, especially children and pregnant women, are advised to be home by sunset.
Drive away ghosts from your condo home by keeping your space well lit. Open the windows in the morning to let in natural light. In the evening, you can light up your home with ambient lighting. You can also have recessed light fixtures in the living room and LED strip lights on top of kitchen cabinets.
No Halloween condo décor
When do people love sharing scary stories and watching horror movies? During the weeks surrounding Halloween. The ghost month observed by Buddhists and Taoists is different from the what Christians celebrate on Novembers. There are no costume parties nor trick-or-treats. In fact, ghost month observers don’t talk about the unseen to avoid attracting their unwanted attention. They also abstain from watching horror flicks or making fun of spirits because wandering ghosts may get offended and do harm.
Save those plastics skeletons and cotton cobwebs for Halloween. Just keep your condo home bright and well-lit throughout the ghost month. You can also skip that planned The Conjuring marathon.
Fight off yin formation
It is believed that ghosts and evil spirits generate energies from the yin, or the dark forces of nature. It is important to avoid the formation of yin in your home to fight off misfortunes during the ghost month. Aside from lighting up the space, make sure there is no dust or clutter anywhere. Oil door hinges because “squeaky doors bring hungry ghosts”. Display mirror in the hallway, on your living room walls and in your bedroom to deflect and absorb negative energies.
Reschedule home renovations
Planning for a home renovation between August 22 and September 19? That may be a bad idea. The carpentry work, which includes drilling and banging, is believed to disturb spirits. Opening up new unoccupied spaces in your home can also attract ghosts that may take over the place. If the renovation is unavoidable, Buddhists and Taoists advise offering incense before the work begins and finishing up before sunset.
Stay away from water features in your condo
The ghost month is a time to take extra caution. Traveling abroad or taking long road trips should be avoided to prevent accidents and mishaps by mischievous spirits. Some people veer away from water forms such as pools and seas believing that vengeful spirits drown bodies to replace them in the afterlife.
Do you have a trip scheduled between August 22 and September 19, you should consider rescheduling it after the ghost month. Condo living in the Philippines gives you an alternative. Instead of traveling for your vacation, you can stay in your resort-style condo community. There’s an open lawn for an afternoon picnic or a relaxing tea party at the Roof Deck. You may want to skip taking a dip into the leisure pool.
You may think that superstitious beliefs are irrelevant in this day and age. However, you couldn’t deny that many people still live with these traditions that they inherited from their long-dead ancestors. Every culture has its unique practices that may appear nonsensical to foreigners. But as long as no harm is done on others, what’s wrong with adding a couple of mirrors in your living room to fight off negative energies?