Ghost Month and the Asian Halloween, 中元節

The month of July in the Lunar calendar is considered as the ghost month and July 15th on the Lunar calendar is Zhong Yuan holiday, 中元節。In 2014, it was on Sunday August 10th. This is the day when the gates of hell open and all ghosts can come up and play amongst the living, at least for the nice ghosts. The not so nice ones will come up to seek revenge.

The Taiwanese in the month of July will set up a table in front of their place of business, placing various foods (fruits, package goods, fresh flowers, and alcohol) on the table and burn paper money and incense to appease the ghosts, inviting them for a nice meal and send them away with paper money to spend on whatever they want. In many cases, these ghosts are one’s ancestors. This is called 中元普渡 or 拜拜 and takes place on the 15th of July in the Lunar calendar. This is a common practice for the Taoist.

This photo is taken right outside of the Technology Building MRT station in the Daan District in Taipei, Taiwan. This is a set up for 中元拜拜 for a bank.

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I am a New Yorker who flies home to Taiwan in the Summer. I absolutely believe food is one of the most pleasurable things in life. Hence, my chronicle of anticipated glorious food experiences.

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