Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ghost money

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This is called “bai-bai” (sounds like bye-bye!)- Many Taiwanese people burn “ghost money” and make offerings to the spirits at least twice every lunar month.  They put out fruit and sometimes other food with incense stuck into it, and use what looks like a little burn-barrel to burn the ghost money.  It seems to be done most often about an hour before dusk, or in the early afternoon.

The little grocery store in my neighborhood carries some ghost money, although there are some small shops that sell it, and even a few huge stores that have lots of idols and other ancestor-worshipping items.  I also had to include this announcement that was up in the elevator of my building- I think it’s for when they put a tent outside the building and you can buy some food on a table and a bunch of people do their bai-bai at the same time.  Gotta love the picture though, with the chicken with the incense sticks and 3 distinctly western-looking ghosts coming to get it.

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As I’ve mentioned before, ghost money is extremely polluting and apparently is printed with carcinogenic dye?  It seems so strange that they don’t use non-carcinogenic dye.

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