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Ghosts of August

August Ghost

IYONG totoo, Agosto na agad?

With just a few months away, All Souls’ Day and Halloween are also coming up fast.

Unlike the Gregorian calendar that celebrates the first of January signifying the New Year, the lunar calendar in turn celebrates it by the end of January or as February starts. For the Chinese, however, their version of All Souls’ Day (or should we say month) comes ahead of the Western celebration/commemoration in October-November.

Sino pa nga ba bukod sa mga Tsino ang may paniniwalang may kinalaman ang buwan na ito sa pagmumulto? Ilang linggo na lang makalipas, makikita na naman natin ang nagniningning na –ber suffix sa mga parating na buwan. Pero dito muna tayo sa kasalukuyan.

Ghosts – pangitain sila ng nakaraan na nagma-manifest ngayong kasalukuyan. Sila ay mga yumao, mga taong maaaring naging malapit din sa atin sa kung paanong paraan at mga kaluluwang hindi pa lubos na namamayapa. These are wandering souls of people who have been close to our hearts, such as relatives and friends or even a significant other, who, for some reason have unfortunately passed away.

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The seventh month of the Chinese calendar marks the start of traditional Ghost festivals. “It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of Buddhist monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community.”

The gates of hell are said to open up in August. Thus, ghosts are given freedom to roam the earth as they seek food and entertainment.

Karaniwang ito ang mga kaluluwa ng mga taong hindi nabigyan ng maayos na ritwal o send-off bago sila namatay.

Kadalasang ikinamatay nila ang starvation o matinding gutom kaya dala nila itong pakiramdam na uhaw at gutom hanggang sumakabilang buhay.

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Ayon sa Wikipedia, “In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm.”

In 2016, the Chinese hungry ghost month begins on the 3rd of August and ends on the 31st.

Sa paniniwalang pinapalaya mula sa impyerno ang mga multo kasabay ng paglubog ng araw, ang mga Buddhists at Taoists ay may mga nakalaang ritwal at seremonya para ilayo ang mga multong ito sa kadiliman at pagdurusa. Sunset, symbolizing transition from day to night, also serves as recognition of the disturbed spirits in the hopes of being calmed.

Also according to Wikipedia, “Altars are built for the deceased. Priests and monks perform rituals for the benefit of ghosts. Rice or other small foods are thrown into the air in all directions to distribute them to the ghosts.”

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Send your questions on anything and everything to Kuya Kim through my Twitter account @kuyakim_atienza using #AlaminKayKuyaKim.

Ating tuklasin ang mga bagay-bagay na di n’yo pa alam. Walang ’di susuungin, lahat aalamin. Ito po si Kuya Kim, Matanglawin, only here in Tempo. (KIM ATIENZA)

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