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Ghost Month: Must-know Dos and Don’ts of traveling in the 7th lunar month

12/01/2024 10.515

Ghost Month, observed in various Asian countries, including Vietnam, is a time when the veil between the spirit world and the living is believed to be at its thinnest, creating an atmosphere of both trepidation and reverence.

Ghost Month

Asia travel is a gateway to captivating customs and ancient traditions that shape the region's cultural fabric. Amidst the myriad of extraordinary experiences, Ghost Month stands as a captivating phenomenon, particularly in Vietnam. In this article, we delve into the mystical realm of this special event and unravel its rituals and significance to ensure a comfortable Vietnam travel adventure.

1. Ghost Month: Date, Origin and Meaning

Ghost Month is an annual observance that holds great cultural significance in various Asian countries, including Vietnam. Originating from ancient beliefs and traditions, it is celebrated during the seventh lunar month, which typically falls between July and August. 

Ghost Month

Ghost Month's meaning varies in different countries across Asia, but it consistently reflects the deep-rooted beliefs and practices surrounding ancestral veneration and the interplay between the mortal world and the realm of spirits. During this time, it is believed that the gates of the spirit world open, allowing deceased ancestors and wandering spirits to return to the realm of the living.

>>> Read more: Southeast Asia travel: An ultimate guide for your first ever trip in 2023

2. Countries where Ghost Month is celebrated

Ghost Month is a culturally significant observance celebrated in various countries across Asia like Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Japan. During Ghost Month, people honor their ancestors, perform rituals, and pay respects to wandering spirits believed to roam the earthly realm. 

Ghost Month

3. Dos and Don'ts of traveling in Ghost Month

Being aware of Ghost Month do's and don'ts is crucial for both locals and travelers, as it allows for a harmonious and respectful engagement with the customs and traditions tied to this sacred time.

3.1. Things to do in Ghost Month

During Ghost Month, there are several activities and practices that people engage in to honor their ancestors and navigate the spiritual realm. Here are some things to do during Ghost Month:

  • Offerings and prayers: Make offerings of food, incense, and other items at altars or designated areas to appease and honor ancestors and wandering spirits.
Ghost Month
  • Attend temple ceremonies: Participate in temple rituals, ceremonies, and performances dedicated to ancestral worship and spiritual purification.
  • Light incense and candles: Light incense and candles at home or in temples to create an atmosphere of reverence and to honor ancestors.
  • Clean and maintain ancestral graves: Visit and clean the graves of ancestors, offering flowers and prayers to show respect and remembrance.

3.2. Things to avoid in Ghost Month

To demonstrate respect for the spirits and uphold good fortune during this unique period, it is crucial to be mindful of what not to do during Ghost Month and what not to wear during Ghost Month. Consider the following guidelines as you navigate this period of observance:

  • Avoid starting new businesses or major life decisions: It is believed that Ghost Month is an inauspicious time for new beginnings or significant life changes, as the spiritual realm is particularly active and can interfere with positive outcomes.
  • Refrain from wearing red or bright colors: Red is traditionally associated with attracting spirits, so it is advisable to avoid wearing this color during this time to minimize any unwanted attention.
Ghost Month
  • Avoid hanging laundry outside at night: Hanging clothes outside at night is thought to attract wandering spirits who may inadvertently affect or influence the living through the clothes.
  • Refrain from staying out late at night: As spirits are believed to be more active during Ghost Month, it is advisable to avoid staying out late at night to minimize the chance of encountering restless or malevolent spirits.
  • Avoid stepping on or kicking offerings on the streets: During Ghost Month, offerings are commonly seen on the streets. It is important to show respect by not stepping on or kicking them accidentally.

While Ghost Month in Vietnam, observed between July and August, holds deep cultural significance, it remains an opportune time to visit this captivating country. Vietnam weather in July is favorable, especially for beach lovers, with warm temperatures and clear skies creating an ideal setting for coastal retreats. 

Ghost Month

In addition to enjoying Vietnam's stunning beaches, travelers can also delve into the unique Ghost Month festivals by visiting cultural hotspots such as Hoi An Ancient Town, Hanoi Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. These locations provide immersive experiences that allow visitors to witness how Vietnamese people celebrate and honor their ancestors during this spiritually meaningful time.

Ghost Month

When planning your trip to Vietnam, especially during Ghost Month or any other time of the year, consider booking your accommodation at Vinpearl hotels and resorts. With a range of exquisite resorts located in picturesque destinations such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long, Vinpearl offers a seamless blend of comfort, elegance, and Vietnamese hospitality. From exquisite dining options to world-class amenities, your stay at Vinpearl will elevate your Vietnam travel experience to new heights of indulgence.

Ghost Month

 

Ghost Month

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Visiting Vietnam during Ghost Month allows travelers to embark on a transformative journey of exploration. The streets of Hoi An Ancient Town, Hanoi Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang become adorned with colorful lanterns and bustling with cultural activities. From witnessing mesmerizing performances of Vietnamese opera and puppetry to partaking in ancestral worship rituals, the experience is both immersive and enlightening.

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