Welcome to Ghost Month 2017. This year, Ghost Month holds a very special place on the calendar.
On the Chinese calendar, Ghost Month always starts on the new moon of the seventh lunar month. Because this system relies upon the lunar cycle, an extra month, or leap month, has to be added to the calendar every three years. This year, the Chinese calendar adds a leap month in July, resulting in Ghost Month beginning almost a whole month later on the western calendar.
Because Ghost Month is late this year, it magically aligns with the Solar Eclipse which happened on August 21, the day before the
Gates of Hell open and Ghost Month begins.
This is a total solar eclipse that makes its way across the
United States, casting a series of two minute shadows from the coast of Oregon to the shores of South Carolina. For two short minutes, on-lookers all across this line of totality stand in darkness together as one, in awe of nature and her humbling beauty.
Then, the next day, Ghost Month begins.
Is this ominous? Maybe a little.
Maybe a little more for those of us in the United States… especially considering the state of The United States.
But, Ghost Month is not observed by many here in the United States. Most Americans have never even heard the phrase “hungry ghost” let alone are familiar with Ghost Month and its rituals. No need to be concerned with such matters, right?
Yet, in parts of the world that do observe Ghost Month, every year at this time people are cautioned to be extra safe and reverent, to expect malevolent ghosts at play, and to appease them accordingly.
Feng Shui writer Ricky Lee offers a Filipino perspective on this year’s special Ghost Month… dreadful.
For this year’s solar eclipse, what makes it dreadful is that it happens on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month, and I have never ever recalled than an eclipse happening on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month, and this is most certainly an indication that something big either worldwide or to several countries will happen during the Hungry Ghost Month or will start during the Hungry Ghost Month.
A Lunar Eclipse, A Solar Eclipse, and the Hungry Ghost Month