August is here! Not only is it the month of Singapore’s National Day (happy advanced birthday, our home and tiny dot on the map), but it is the Hungry Ghost Festival. This month long period is the time when the gates of hell are officially open for the spirits to roam on Earth.
Associated with old wives’ tales and taboo practices, what people fear the most is being “disturbed” by these spirits. The ultimate goal is to appease them with offerings (such as food, paper money and joss sticks).
So we thought to ourselves that it would be interesting to incorporate this into our blog post! There are certain taboos bride have to avoid and play it safe (especially wedding photography).
Today, we shall shed light on the subject for our less-traditional brides as we dive into the 4 things to avoid during the festival. We certainly hope this article will keep you undeterred, dolled up, and looking fabulous for your fantastic wedding day!
P.S This topic may not be suitable for the fainthearted.
#1 Crucial Hungry Ghost Festival Taboos To Avoid: Donning Red Gowns
Chinese traditions attribute red as a colour synonymous with vengeful entities and strong spiritual energies. So, naturally, if you plan to conduct pre-wedding photoshoots during this time of the year, it is best to avoid red bridal gowns. You wouldn’t want to attract unwanted attention by incidentally resembling one of the “visitors”!
Stick to other fetching colours such as magenta or pink and choose off-white hues if you are determined to wear a traditional bridal gown.
#2 Crucial Hungry Ghost Festival Taboo To Avoid: Crying in Public
Crying and weeping are outward signs of sorrow and vulnerability. So, hold back your tears during your outdoor photoshoots – even if you’re sharing a heart-warming Nicholas Sparks moment with your partner.
Since spirits are believed to wander in the great outdoors, they can easily detect your emotional signals and be enticed to feed off your energy. An indoor setting offers more “protection” with walls and all but really, who can truly keep track on such things?
#3 Crucial Hungry Ghost Festival Taboos To Avoid: Picking Up Things That You Don’t Own
As children, we were warned by adults to never take things that do not belong to us – this caveat is most relevant during the Hungry Ghost Festival.
There are many scenic outdoor spots in Singapore for wedding photography, where you might stumble upon the occasional misplaced hairband, bracelet or even necklace – but NEVER pick them up.
The popular belief is that these items may be physical traps set by malicious spirits, which will then proceed to possess or torment their victim. So, if you see anything useful on the ground during your shoot, even if it is the perfectly pretty hairpin (and you wonder why you never had the luck to find it in Daiso) – just leave it alone, complete the shoot and leave!
#4 Crucial Hungry Ghost Festival Taboos To Avoid: Lengthy Outdoor Night Shoots
We saved the most important point for last: try limiting night shoots during the month of the festival (or avoiding them altogether).
The notion is that the veil or spiritual barrier between the realm of the living and the underworld is at its thinnest at night. So, expect more wandering souls to outnumber the living and maybe cause a little bit of mischief!
Besides, the poor light quality might cause your imagination to run wild at the sound of the slightest bump. Keep to daylight if you’re the jumpy kind!
Ultimately, the bride makes the choice to believe or not. Many traditions and customs persist and perhaps sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry.
What are some of the most far fetched advice you have received for Hungry Ghost Festival? Or maybe you have some spooky encounters you would like to share? We would love to hear from you, let us know all about it!
Make an appointment with us here now if you want to know more about our bridal services!