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Taiwan’s Ghost Month is here again

By George Shen

Today, July 29, is the first day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In local folklore, it is the beginning of the Ghost Month, when the gates of the underworld are open and ghosts are free to roam among the living, in search of food to live on for the rest of the year.

To many people in Taiwan, except for funeral rites, no major personal events are to happen during the thirty days of Ghost Month. Weddings, inaugurations, moving house and other big occasions are shunned, for fear of bad luck. Potentially life-threatening activities, such as medical operations, long-distance travel and even swimming are also avoided at all costs, if possible.

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