Sept 2. 2020 is the Lunar July 15th this year, and it is also what we call the Mid-Festival, which is a very important date for Taoist! If you want to know more about why it is so important, read on and you won't be disappointed.
The background of the Mid-Festival is all about worshiping the ancestors and also related to when farmers are thanking nature for the crops and fruits that they can harvest. Yes, that’s right, it’s around autumn, so that’s when the farmers go harvest! The word中元 Jung Yuen, means the middle section of time, or the mid-year. It’s obvious that it is marking the halfway mark of the year. There is also an upper and lower festival too. The upper is lunar Jan 15th, and the lower is lunar Oct 15th. We will talk about those in our later blog posts!
The tradition has never been about worshiping just “any” dead souls out there. It was Buddhism which started the story about lunar July 14th and it was called the “Yue Lan Festival” which originated from their story of a daughter named white-lotus who went to “hell” and saved the mother etc. Long story short, they made up a festival and promote the practice of worshiping the ancestor, and might as well other people’s ancestors, and end up doing the bigger business – hosting a ceremony for every dead souls out there. Imagine you are putting out a large buffet out there with empty seats and loudly announce “FREE FOOD!” and see what happen after a night.
The intention of helping the dead souls out there isn’t bad from the beginning, but when people don’t know what’s going on or how to handle the situation, then it can become a disaster for many people. The common issue most of the time is that people get haunted or tagged by ghosts during this day and they don’t even realize it. As the time goes by, they start to get sick, bad luck, and many issues start to arise. Why is all that happening? It’s because ghosts who came for the buffet want more and they think you have more for them, so they tag you home.
The proper way of doing it, is that you should know that this is not for everyone to do it “on their own”. It’s for those who are capable and qualified to do these kinds of ceremonies only. You can join the ceremony and participate, but not host one yourself. If you want to join one and participate, go to our Mid-Festival Ceremony page and sign up!
The key point is, when we host a ceremony for this day, our altar has a landlord who govern the place and can manage the dead souls coming over. After the big feast and giveaway, they can choose to leave and go away, or stay and be ordained. If they decided to stay and be ordained, then they will be taken by the Tao to move on to where they should be going to continue their cultivation and so that they can cultivate to move on to their next life. What’s better than getting a boss, a job, and immigration ticket to a better place, right? As you can see, the ghosts need to be handled properly or else they will be out of control and that is when chaos happen.
There are also many temples that do these kinds of ceremonies, but not many have “real” magic practitioners inside. A lot of them only host the ceremony like a gathering event and it doesn’t involve any magic work or altar etc. Not to even mention there isn’t even any deities watching over the whole situation. Fake monks or Taoists are all over the world in the “big” temples, because they only care about tourism and making money since they already have a big name. A lot of people do get “haunted” by ghosts after going to “these” big temples and joining their ceremonies because the ghosts just got out of control and start to think “everyone” is their food source.
If you are really into helping the dead souls, here is a video for you!
If you are one of the unlucky one, and you happen to bang into this blog post, then you are lucky again. Go through the free initiation process, and start by learning your heart spell, then you can start doing the cleansing and purifying spells daily to cleanse the energy off. At the same time, if any ghosts are tagging you, then you could recite the deity name三羅太乙救苦天尊 Saam Law Tai Yuet Gau Fu Tin Juen and invoke the deity to deal with them. If you are scared and concerned, then its best to e-mail us instead and get help right away.
Looking for where to join a Mid-Festival Ceremony this year? Tin Yat Dragon Taoism Temple is the online temple for you!