1. DON'T GO SWIMMING, ESPECIALLY AFTER SUNSET.
During this time, spirits of those who have drowned will linger around bodies of water. As they are looking for someone to take its place, they might pull you in. You should also avoid sea travels, such as cruises.
2. DON'T KILL INSECTS.
Moths, butterflies and grasshoppers that appear in your home during Hungry Ghost Festival might actually be your reincarnated relatives. Don't anger them by swatting or "killing" them.
Can't stand the sight of creepy crawlies? Move them outside - gently! (These tips will come in handy when the month is over, though.)
3. TAKE DOWN THOSE WINDCHIMES.
They may look pretty and sound nice, but the sound of metals clanking during the seventh month may signal to spirits that your house is open to visitors.
4. DON'T COME HOME TOO LATE.
If you are superstitious, you should abide by a curfew during the Hungry Ghost Festival. Be home by sunset, as that is when spirits are the strongest. Don't forget to wash your feet right after you come home!
5. DON'T HANG YOUR CLOTHES OVERNIGHT.
Apparently, wandering spirits may try them on and inadvertently cause negative energy to enter your house. Time for a dryer, then!
6. DON'T LEAVE YOUR UMBRELLAS OPEN.
Spirits may take shelter under them; apparently, red or black umbrellas are the worst! Wipe your umbrellas dry, air them for a little while, and close them as soon as you can.
7. DON'T LEAVE YOUR CHOPSTICKS STANDING UPRIGHT IN YOUR BOWL OF FOOD.
Already considered a cultural faux pas - this position resembles joss sticks for the dead - doing so during seventh month is even worse. Hungry ghosts may mistake your food as offerings and take over your body to consume it.
8. DON'T LEAVE THE FRONT DOOR OPEN.
Leaving your door ajar may invite ghosts into your sanctuary. Keep the negative energy out by keeping your doors closed.
9. DON'T PURCHASE NEW PROPERTY, MOVE INTO A NEW PLACE OR COMMENCE RENOVATION.
PropertyGuru shares that moving into a new home may "send a message that says 'please stay with me!', while renovations may disturb some temporary visitors or residing spirits".
Some also say it is because ghosts are hiding from the guards that are bringing them back to the other side!
On the flipside, if you aren't superstitious, this is the perfect time to buy a house; prices tend to be lower/open to bargains. If you really have to move into your new home, call upon a geomancer to balance out the Qi for you.
PropertyGuru shares that visiting family members can also bring fresh fruits like oranges (success), pomegranates (opportunities), peaches (good health) and apples (safety) for good blessings.
This article was first published in Home and Decor.