The Feast of the wandering souls, sometimes known as ‘Chinese Halloween’ is celebrated from 20 August in 2009. There are slight variations regarding the origins of this festival dependant on Buddhist or Taoist roots. Similar events are held among other cultures and countries e.g. Brazil, Japan, Phillipines and of course the Mexican ‘Dia de los muertos’
The legend of Mu Lian begins with his decision to leave home and pursue spiritual training. His mother was upset with this choice as it left her alone. Despite her pleas Mu Lian followed his dreams.
The years passed and eventually he returned home only to find that his mother had passed away. The only form of contact he could now make was through the use of meditation. To his distress he found his mother in hell, hungry and begging for food as no-one had burnt offerings or prayed for her upon her passing. In his desire to help her he fed her food however none was able to be ingested.
With a heavy heart he approached his spiritual teacher seeking advice. He was told to feed and serve thousands of people on earth so that eventually food could be taken by his mother. In addition he had to sweep and tend to temples and sacred places.
After many, many years of devoted service to his fellow man, Mu Lian was finally able to free his mother from the ravages of hell and hunger. It is this day that signifies the beginning of the Hungry Ghost festival.
Eventually, reports of his good deeds reached Buddha who was touched by the compassion shown by this man, particularly towards his own mother. Consequently he decreed that once a year, the gates of hell will be opened and that all the lost souls will be able to roam freely on earth for a month.
The moral of the story is to ensure that you are filial and respectful to your parents - even once deceased.
In this month, many spirits roam the world in search of their past memories and to fulfill their unforgotten attachments. Consequently they are called, Hungry Ghosts.
This festival is different to the QingMing festival or Tomb Sweeping day (a public holiday in China) and predominantly an ancestor worshipping day, in that, the Hungry Ghost festival is an opportunity for the ancestors to return to earth.
Festivities associated with this time include the burning of joss sticks, paper money, food offerings and operatic performances.
Late nights during this month are discouraged and it is a rare event for a Chinese couple to be married during this period.
Whilst we may not all have a firm belief in the Hungry Ghost and also, may have little or no desire to celebrate this festival - the moral behind this story is a valuable one. In addition, generally we are all interested in ways to enhance our familial relationships so that they are healthy, loving and fulfilling. Good Feng Shui plays a vital role in achieving this outcome.
Consequently, from a Feng Shui perspective it is important to keep illness and obstacles at bay during the course of the year. These are the main influences that negatively impact on maintaining quality relationships. Thereby, you can support your family by implementing the following changes in your workplace and particularly in your home over the next two months.
August:Place 6 metal coins in the northeast of your business, home and/or your bedrooom. It is also worthwhile to hang an all metal wind chime or bell in the southwest position during this time.
September:Remove the objects from the their position in August and....put the 6 metal coins in the south of your business, home and/or your bedrooom. The all metal wind chime or bell is best placed so that it is in the east sector of your home or business premises.
Symbology can also enhance good Feng Shui. so objects reflecting the desired outcome, in this cas love within the family, can be placed at the entry, or in the living room.