Bad news sells (newspapers). Indeed. Some say to stay away from reading the papers. But then again, how else are we to get news if we stay away from papers and the media. These are the places we get news from. Unfortunately, there is more bad news than good news these days. These are just a couple of the happenings around the world today.
London burns. I have a couple of girlfriends who are in England as we speak. I hope the city they are in is not affected by this rioting violence happening in various parts of the country. This chaos does not augur well for a country gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics less than a year away.
Stocks Suffering Sharpest Drop Since 2008 and the trend spreading to Asia, including Malaysia. Last time I checked at 12:30PM, the FBMKLCI closed at 1461.21 (-35.78). Is a recession in the offing? May be a good time (as any) to further tighten your belts or if you have cash to spare pick up some good stocks (and gold) which has hit a record high?
These are just two examples of bad (understatement) news around and affecting most if not all of us. It's tiring to talk about negative events. Things, bad things, happen this time of the year, the infamous seventh month of the lunar calendar. Gosh, do I sound superstitious or what! No, I'm actually not superstitious, maybe a little, but being of Chinese descent and growing up in a Buddhist/Taoist environment, Chinese family traditions and customs are part of my life.
Anyway, there is this prediction of the seventh lunar month that I read and the events happening right now around the world seem to ring true. According to the reading, this seventh month is set to see more severe negative energy in the world, much more severe than that of previous seventh lunar months. There is prediction of frequent or worse natural disasters, diseases, violence and freak incidents.
On the personal front, this being the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, best to avoid dark and secluded places and places with negative connotations including hospitals. Children are more vulnerable to the negative effects of such places, so best to avoid bringing them to places with negative Ying energies. This month especially is where (stray) spirits hang around all over. One thing I've often been told as a child is to avoid street corners and junctions especially when night falls lest we bump or rather they bump into us. The seventh month is not a good month for auspicious events including engagements and weddings or moving house, etc. It's even not a good month to go swimming. Old wives tale perhaps but still, better be safe than sorry.
The seventh lunar month began on July 31 ending on Aug 28. From now until the 15th day (Aug 14), you may come across elaborate prayer setups and stage shows. These are normally arranged by business organizations made up of local business owners and they are specifically for the hungry/stray ghosts that are free to roam the earth just this time of the year. Front-row seats at these stage shows are usually left vacant, reserved for the spirits. By midnight of the 15th day, i.e., Aug 14, they would all have to return to where they come from, the underworld.
For families that are not in business, they can pray outside their homes by the roadside. This act of kindness and generosity is optional but it is believed that once a family starts this tradition, it would have to be a yearly affair. Joss-sticks and candles would be lit, food, underworld currency, gold and silver ingots and clothes are the usual offerings. Other than the food, everything else would be set alight. This is the only way, the offerings can be received. This prayer ritual is carried out either on the 14th or 15th evening of the seventh lunar month depending on the dialect clan the family belongs to. Other than the family carrying out this ritual, people normally avoid going near the prayer site so as to avoid bumping into the spirits.
Today is the 10th day of the seventh lunar month of 29 days. Nineteen more days to go before we go into the 8th month, the joyous month of the Mooncake Festival or also known as the Lantern Festival which falls on Sep 12. On a brighter note, mooncakes are already on sale. I saw them on sale at Genting Highlands even in July!
Take care and stay safe, Everyone!
Image source: The Star