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Gui

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Chinese term for the spirits of the dead, formed of the negative yin components of a person's soul (i.e., the po souls) after death. Literally: ghost, spirit, demon.

The same term is also applied to all dead souls except those of members of one's own family, because they are believed to be capable of avenging injustices or insults suffered by them when they were still alive. The Gui wear clothes which have no hems, and their bodies cast no shadows. People can only perceive them as a breath of air. To these ghosts, humans are only perceived as a dim red light.

To placate the Gui, people make offerings of paper money. This money is issued by the "bank of the Lower World", and is burned during special ceremonies. The feast of the hungry ghost (the ghosts of people who died by drowning or hanging or die a long way from home, as well as those for who no ancestral tree has been erected) is celebrated in the seventh month of each year.

The name of the Gui in traditional Chinese format.
The name of the Gui in traditional Chinese format.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Kuei
  • Pronunciation:
    guay

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