How superstitious are you? Different cultures have different taboos regarding what is and is not acceptable on different occasions, and Taiwanese tradition is particularly onerous when it comes to ghost month (oh dear, I guess I’ve just broken one of the taboos by mentioning “ghost”).
Read these articles if you dare, and you can test for yourself whether or not you have already been taken by a ghost. There are many bizarre contradictions related to inauspicious activities and the beliefs surrounding them that you can see in daily life in Taiwan, however, taking this list as a primer, let’s examine some of the oversights of these ghost taboos.
Firstly, if you should not take the last bus, does that mean you should walk home in the dark instead even though it is also a taboo to be out alone at night? Admittedly you might take a taxi, but who is to say that the taxi isn’t a ghost taxi if it is running that late at night?
Likewise, if ghosts might get to you if you lean against the wall because they stick by cool places in the summer heat, then why would they want to warm themselves up by wearing the clothes of people who hang out their washing to dry?
My favourite from this list though, would have to be that you shouldn’t sit in the front row of a Gezaixi puppet show. Surely ghosts have been updated into the information age of the new millennium too, and no doubt they enjoyed watching TV, playing computer games, playing on their phones and going to the cinema when they were alive, so wouldn’t that mean you can’t do any of those activities without making special arrangements like leaving an empty seat on your sofa, not sitting at your computer desk, not sitting in the front row at the cinema and not ever playing on your phone?
Top 10 taboos to watch out for during Taiwan's Ghost Month
10 more taboos to avoid during Ghost Month in Taiwan