Saturday, 29 August 2009
Wedding dinner date during Hungry Ghost month
One of my relatives came around to my house recently to deliver an invitation card to their son's wedding. We are happy for you and we'll be there at the tea ceremony and wedding dinner, we told them.
"Eh, by the way, when is it?" I asked. Custom dictated that it would be too impolite of us to rip open the invitation card on the spot to look at the details. So we asked.
"Ninth of September," they replied. "Ninth of September?" I asked, just to make sure that I'd heard correctly. "Yes, ninth of September," they echoed.
The reason I'm relating all these is because 9 Sep 2009 lies smack within the seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar which starts on Thursday. That's the month of the hungry ghosts, the month when the gates of hell are thrown open to let the ghosts roam the earth.
Under normal circumstances, the Chinese do not wish to hold any celebration during this month. In particular, they'll avoid marriages and all services related to the tying of the knot. It's a case of "just in case". Just in case, that is, their luck is no good and they are affected by the bad vibes.
"Aiyah," my relative said, "I leave it to those young people, lah. They plan everything without letting us know. We can only go along with them. They were registered two years ago on 7 July 2007 and now they want their dinner on 9 Sep 2009. It's up to them...."