Gates of Ghosts are opened... - Alex's Language and Culture Column #1

📷 / 䞃爺將軍 (Qi-ye General) and his parade near Xinzhudu Chenghuang Temple in Hsinchu City, Taiwan. It is believed that Qi-ye General and Ba-ye (八爺) General are the guardians of the underworld, who help Lord Yanluo (Yama), the god of the underworld, to catch haunting ghosts.

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What's up, Verbling?
This is Alex from Taiwan. 倧家奜! (Hello everyone!) 🙌
From today, I am going to share something about Taiwan, Chinese/Taiwanese culture, Mandarin, and some trivia weekly from this August. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to know more!

The topic today is 鬌門 (guǐmén), the gate of ghosts.

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So, what is "鬌門", anyway? 👻

Literally, "鬌" stands for "ghost", and "門" stands for "gate/door". Chinese regard the seventh month of the lunar calendar as the "Ghost Month", and the first day of the month is called "鬌門開" (guǐménkāi), which means "Gates of Ghosts are opened".
“鬌門開" is on 8/11 this year, by the way. On this day, spirits, ghosts, and ancestors come out from the underworld through the gates, and Chinese believe that those spirits and ghosts are free to roam the earth where they can seek food and entertainment until the gates being closed on the last day of the Ghost Month (the last day of the month is called "鬌門關" (guǐménguān)). And this month is called “鬌月”, Ghost Month. It is also believed that the ghosts might haunt living people and even reap their lives to be reincarnated.

So... people are somehow neurotic in that month, and getting caught by ghosts is definitely a bad thing, so they tend to be more cautious in their behaviors. There are 10 common taboos in the Ghost Month followed by Taiwanese, let's take a look! 🔍



10 Taboos followed by Taiwanese

Don't dry clothes in the evening

The shape of clothes looks similar to humans, and hanging clothes may attract ghosts to "wear" them on. There's another saying that ghosts like to wear clothes because the underworld is freezing cold.

Don't travel

Ghosts may follow people and haunt them around.

Don't go swimming (especially wild rivers)

It is believed that "氎鬌" (Shuǐguǐ), drowned ghosts, will reap people's lives.

Don't whistle in the evening

Simply because it will attract ghosts as well. Actually, whistling in the evening is a common taboo in Taiwan, and doing so in the Ghost Month is even more unacceptable than usual.

Don't buy or move houses

Buying or moving houses are regarded as unlucky things, and it is believed that the ghosts will haunt the new house.

Don't get married

It's quite similar to buying or moving houses during the Ghost Month. It is believed that the bad luck will be brought into the family.

Don't buy vehicles

Even buying vehicles? Yes, it is also believed that cars will be either haunted or cursed by ghosts. Some people even hire Taoist priests or monks, asking them to hold purification rites to avoid bad luck, for real. Usually speaking, the prices of vehicles are lower than other months at this time.

Don't take the last bus/train

The last bus or train is usually at midnight, and it is believed that people are easier to be haunted at that time, and ghosts might follow them all the way.

Don't take pictures in the evening

Well, you may see someone you don't know in the picture.

Don't go to the hospital often

It is believed that there might be ghosts roaming in some places (especially morgues) in hospitals, so, if it's unnecessary, people don't go to the hospital.


Well, after all, these taboos are a kind of superstitions, and some people just act as usual and don't really mind at all. Still, it is said to be careful during this whole month.

Let's learn some new words today!
(Characters are written in both Traditional and Simplified systems)



New Words Today 📘

  • 鬌門鬌闚 guǐmén: Gates of Ghosts
  • 蟲曆农历 nónglì: Lunar calendar
  • 䞃月    qÄ«yǜe: the seventh month, July (in solar calendar)
  • 犁忌    jìnjì: taboo
E.g.
蟲曆䞃月的時候有埈倚犁忌芁小心
农历䞃月的时候有埈倚犁忌芁小心
Nónglì qÄ«yuÚ de shíhòu, yǒu hěn duō jìnjì yào xiǎoxÄ«n!
You should be careful during the seventh month of the lunar calendar!

👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻

Finally, you may check this video footage in 2017!
This is the Opening ceremony of Gates of Ghosts in Xinzhudu Chenghuang Temple (新竹郜城隍廟).





That's all for today! Hope you enjoy my first article on Verbling!
See you next week 😄


2018幎8月7日
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Alex Lee

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䞭囜語
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䜿甚できる蚀語:
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,
日本語
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👚‍🏫 Fluent English/Japanese speaker 👚‍🏫 Native Taiwanese Mandarin speaker 👚‍🏫 Expertise in Mandarin Teaching for 4 years 👚‍🏫 Customized learning contents are provided ❝ I am a sharer, and I want to deliver my joy and happiness to anyone I teach. ❞ Hello! This is Alex Lee from Taiwan! I’m an avid language learner and sharer. Through my experience of learning foreign languages, not only just the language itself but also did I understand that learning culture is also an important subject to immerse, thus I provide various kinds of lessons about Mandarin, including conversation practices, calligraphy, intercultural communication, reading comprehension, etc. It all depends on what you want to learn, and I will try best to teach!   📜Courses 1⃣ Every lesson is customized just for you! You may also check the courses I provide below as your reference. 2⃣ For customized lessons, you may send your request, questions, or anything you want to know via Message in the Verbling platform. I will discuss with you, and make a customized plan for your requests. It would be great if you have already known what you want to learn (e.g. listening/reading/writing/speaking, course packs, or any certain topics you want to learn about Mandarin and/or Chinese culture). 3⃣ You may also talk to me directly in Trial Lesson. I'll discuss with you, make a customized plan upon your requests, and estimate your Chinese competence which might help you understand your Mandarin more! 4⃣ All the courses will be taught in English/Japanese, and the character settings could be Traditional, Simplified or both systems. For phonetics, Hanyu Pinyin (挢語拌音) and Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) are used.   📘My specialties 1⃣ Oral expression (free talk, interviews, presentations, speeches, colloquial dialogue, etc.) 2⃣ Bilingual Comparison (grammar differences, word choices, slangs, translations, etc.) 3⃣ Intercultural Communication (cultural differences, customs, history)   📘Free Textbooks * All of these materials is from Overseas Community Affairs Council, Taiwan 1⃣ Let's Learn Chinese / 孞華語向前走 2⃣ Speak Mandarin in 500 Words / 五癟字說華語 3⃣ Speak Mandarin in 1000 Words / 䞀千字說華語 4⃣ Intermediate Chinese / 䞭玚華語 5⃣ Chinese Reading / 䞭文讀本 and 20+ more textbooks for reading.    ——————————————————————————- *** I do not accept students below 12 years old. *** If you have any questions about Mandarin, I'm glad to help! Feel free to send me messages. Looking forward to seeing you online! Thank you!
Flag
䞭囜語
globe
台湟
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615
䜿甚できる蚀語:
䞭囜語
ネむティブ
,
英語
C1
,
日本語
C1
,
広東語
A2
,
ドむツ語
A1
,
ポルトガル語
A1
👚‍🏫 Fluent English/Japanese speaker 👚‍🏫 Native Taiwanese Mandarin speaker 👚‍🏫 Expertise in Mandarin Teaching for 4 years 👚‍🏫 Customized learning contents are provided ❝ I am a sharer, and I want to deliver my joy and happiness to anyone I teach. ❞ Hello! This is Alex Lee from Taiwan! I’m an avid language learner and sharer. Through my experience of learning foreign languages, not only just the language itself but also did I understand that learning culture is also an important subject to immerse, thus I provide various kinds of lessons about Mandarin, including conversation practices, calligraphy, intercultural communication, reading comprehension, etc. It all depends on what you want to learn, and I will try best to teach!   📜Courses 1⃣ Every lesson is customized just for you! You may also check the courses I provide below as your reference. 2⃣ For customized lessons, you may send your request, questions, or anything you want to know via Message in the Verbling platform. I will discuss with you, and make a customized plan for your requests. It would be great if you have already known what you want to learn (e.g. listening/reading/writing/speaking, course packs, or any certain topics you want to learn about Mandarin and/or Chinese culture). 3⃣ You may also talk to me directly in Trial Lesson. I'll discuss with you, make a customized plan upon your requests, and estimate your Chinese competence which might help you understand your Mandarin more! 4⃣ All the courses will be taught in English/Japanese, and the character settings could be Traditional, Simplified or both systems. For phonetics, Hanyu Pinyin (挢語拌音) and Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) are used.   📘My specialties 1⃣ Oral expression (free talk, interviews, presentations, speeches, colloquial dialogue, etc.) 2⃣ Bilingual Comparison (grammar differences, word choices, slangs, translations, etc.) 3⃣ Intercultural Communication (cultural differences, customs, history)   📘Free Textbooks * All of these materials is from Overseas Community Affairs Council, Taiwan 1⃣ Let's Learn Chinese / 孞華語向前走 2⃣ Speak Mandarin in 500 Words / 五癟字說華語 3⃣ Speak Mandarin in 1000 Words / 䞀千字說華語 4⃣ Intermediate Chinese / 䞭玚華語 5⃣ Chinese Reading / 䞭文讀本 and 20+ more textbooks for reading.    ——————————————————————————- *** I do not accept students below 12 years old. *** If you have any questions about Mandarin, I'm glad to help! Feel free to send me messages. Looking forward to seeing you online! Thank you!
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