Hungry Ghost Month: What Is It And How To Stay Safe?

Hungry Ghost Month Image

In Chinese culture, the seventh month of the Chinese calendar is regarded as the Hungry Ghost Month. It is believed that during this month, the gates of hell are opened up and ghosts and spirits are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who forgot to pay tribute to them after they died or those who were never given a proper ritual send-off. During this time, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

In this article, I will share with you when the Hungry Ghost Month starts this year and how long it will last, and also give you some useful recommendations on what to do and what to avoid during this month.

What Is the Hungry Ghost Month?

The origin of the Hungry Ghost month derives from the Mahayana scripture known as the Yulanpen or Ullambana Sutra. The sutra describes the time when Maudgalyayana achieves abhijna and uses his newfound powers to search for his deceased parents. Maudgalyayana discovers that his deceased mother was reborn into the hungry ghost realm. She was in a wasted condition and Maudgalyayana decided to help her by giving her a bowl of rice. Unfortunately as a ghost, she wasn’t able to eat the rice as it was transformed into burning coal.

Then Maudgalyayana asks Buddha to help him and Buddha explains to him how one is able to assist one’s current parents and deceased parents in this life and in one’s past seven lives by willingly offering food and other things to the sangha or monastic community during Pravarana. Usually, it occurs on the fifteenth day of the seventh month whereby the monastic community transfers the merits to the deceased parents.

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open. During this time, both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. An integral part of the Hungry ghosts month is the veneration of the dead.

From Energy Perspective

hungry ghost festival image

During the Hungry Ghost Month, the yin energy overpowers the yang. The yin energy becomes extremely strong during this period. When yin energy dominates a house, it starts to attract wandering spirits who thrive in such places. A house with too much yin energy starts to become dark and overshadows whatever sunlight that enters.

Houses built over previous gravesites or next to the cemetery or hospitals become very attractive for spirits to convene.

During the Hungry Ghost Month, it is very important to be extra careful, especially during night time. This is the time of year when hungry ghosts and wandering spirits are released from “hell” to roam freely, making it a very dangerous month. During this time, the gates of the ghost realms are open and souls of the dead will return to visit their living relatives, while the wandering spirits will roam about the streets.

Hungry Ghosts Month In 2020

As I already said, the Hungry ghost month starts on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This year, this period starts on August 19th and ends on September 16th. The actual day falls on September 2nd.

If you already have a low level of vital energy, this period can cause you health problems. Therefore, it is recommended to wear special protections and surround yourself with bright colors.


Now let me give you some helpful tips for staying safe during the Hungry ghost month.

#1: Perform incense offering ritual

Using Incense For Your Meditations Image

Incense smoke calms down the local spirits and hungry ghosts. During the Hungry Ghost Month, it is beneficial to perform this ritual every evening or as often as you can. The best time for doing this is right after sunset. Light up sweet-smelling incense (such as Sandalwood) and chant this special incense offering mantra as you walk clockwise around your rooms and outside your home while holding your incense burner:


After completing the walk-about your home, dedicate all the incense and offerings to the holy beings, dakinis, angels, spiritual protectors, and wandering spirits around you and request that they look after you instead of harming you. Don’t extinguish the incense. Let it burn until it has finished burning.

#2: Use protection

The Hungry Ghost Month is the time when the likelihood of accidents, mishaps, and robberies increases exponentially. Using spiritual protection will help you to avert negative vibes that shroud the earth this month.

Throughout the month try to always wear some kind of cosmic protection on your body such as amulets that are embellished with specific protective sigils or carry special mantras.

#3: Invite The White Umbrella Goddess

White Umbrella Goddess Image

This powerful protection can be used to prevent spirit harm and black magic attacks. It is believed that her thousand arms that each carry a white parasol, protect against a thousand dangers caused by harmful spirit beings.

You can invite her protection into your home by displaying the White Umbrella Goddess Plaque by your main entrance.

#4: Use The Peacock Feathers Mirror Fan

The Peacock Feathers Mirror Fan has the power to dissolve all poisons that cause you misery and suffering. This fan is also imprinted with a special talisman to protect you against all forms of killing energy. It causes all harmful and unpleasant energies to evaporate and is strongly recommended for those who might be exposed to psychic attack or black magic, or those with low levels of vital energy. Just place the Peacock Feathers Mirror Fan in your handbag, or inside your car to protect yourself

#5: Wear the Diamond Cutter Sutra Prayer Wheel

Diamond Cutter Sutra Prayer Wheel Image

This beautiful Diamond Cutter Sutra Prayer Wheel amulet contains eight complete sets of the powerful Diamond Cutter Sutra! It provides powerful protection against negative energies and has the ability to attract positive chi.

To activate the protection ability of this prayer wheel, twirl it clockwise daily. Wear it daily as an amulet for protection against natural disasters, epidemics, physical dangers, spirit harm, and untimely death.

What to Avoid During the Hunger Ghost Month?

During the Hunger Ghost period it is recommended to avoid:

  • going swimming;
  • spending time outdoors after dark and wandering alone at night;
  • moving into a new house;
  • officiating new businesses;
  • getting married;
  • jungle trekking or camping (chances of injuries, illness, spirit possession, and death are high);
  • placing your hands on anyone’s shoulder (it leads to weakening your internal energies and increasing the chances of spirits possession);
  • wearing hats or caps at sundown (it weakens your life force, increasing the possibilities of being haunted);
  • traveling by plane or by boat;
  • wearing red or black clothes;
  • wearing black nail polish;
  • picking up any coins that you come across on the road.

The Bottom Line

There are a number of taboos and recommendations practiced by different ethnic Chinese groups during this month-long period. In this article, I shared with you the main taboos and recommendations to stay safe during this dark period. Let this month be safe and full of abundance for all of us!