ruey2019-10-27T18:26:49+00:00Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019|
There is saying of dead souls will return home to visit their family between 11pm to 3am, on the 7th day after they passed on. As these are spread thru words of mouth, no one is able to ascertain it credibility.
For Cantonese Taoism, we believed that the “Return Soul Night” may not be on the 7th day after they passed on. There is a formula inherited from the past to calculate the “return soul night”. It will use the lunar date of the day the deceased passed on, and based on the calculation, the “return souls” not only return in the night, but sometimes also in the day.
There is another saying that there are 2 nights in the returning soul night. The first night is said to be the soul can return home on its own (思归 – a self-return night to visit the family). Family members will prepare the favorite dishes of the return soul so that he/she can enjoy them. It was said that the return soul will stay till dawn before going back to the netherworld. The second night, the soul will be accompanied by the ‘Bull head & Horse face’ to return home (正归 – an official return night to visit the family). Same as the first night, family members will prepare favorite dishes for the return soul and at the same time will also prepare boiled eggs, plain rice and rice wine for the 2 escort. (it was said that ‘Bull head & Horse face” love these offerings). The eggs will be soaked in the wine overnight before offering. The purpose of this is to try to make the ‘Bull head & Horse face’ fall asleep after eating the eggs and plain rice so that the return soul can stay longer till dawn.
During the 2 return soul nights, family members are to avoid the setup area before the return of the soul. This is to avoid disturbing the return soul from having their prepared meal. This is also a kind of respect to the soul.