Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Friday the 13th – Origins, History, and Folklore

The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times, and their inevitable conjunction from one to three times a year (there happens to be only one such occurrence in 2010, in the month of August) portends more misfortune than some credulous minds can bear. According to some sources it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on the date….

Friday the 13th – Origins, History, and Folklore


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Hungry Ghost Festivals

Again, thanks to the remarkable Barbara O’Brien:

Hungry ghosts are pitiable creatures. They have huge, empty stomachs, but their mouths are too small and their necks too thin to take in food. Sometimes they breath fire; sometimes what food they do eat turns to ash in their mouths. They are doomed to live with incessant craving.

The Hungry Ghost Realm is one of the Six Realms of Samsara, into which beings are reborn. Understood as a psychological rather than a physical state, hungry ghosts might be thought of as people with addictions, compulsions and obsessions. Greed and jealousy lead to a life as a hungry ghost.

Hungry ghost festivals are held in many Buddhist countries to give the poor creatures some relief. …

Hungry Ghost Festivals – Buddhist Festivals to Placate Hungry Ghosts