Halloween is approaching and, amongst other things, this most powerful magical night is a good time to honour our dead relatives and friends, as the veil that separates the world of the living and the world of the dead falls.
Depending on the local traditions food offerings, items, and other goods or even incense and candles are offered to the dead. Even though Pope Zacharias forbade such offerings via the Synod of Rome in 734 A.D. as acts of idolatry and demonolatry for the Catholics, the folklore goes on or instilled the offerings as part of the rituals.
But what about money? We all know that we cannot take them with us in the other world. Or can we? Well, not a few of the old religions believe that we can take money or other material goods in the other world. The ancient Greeks may not believed that money will do any good to the dead, except of the two oboluses needed to pay Charon to take the soul from the world of the living to the world of the dead, but they engraved food and other goods with the dead for him or her to have them in the other world. Ancient Egyptians on the other hand engraved money, jewels and other valuable so that the dear will have all needed things and riches in the other world.
What is Hell Money? How can I make Hell Money? How to use Ghost Money? Hell Money is such a tradition coming from China. They are also known as Spirit Money and Ghost Money. But what are they, and what the use of them? Well they are not real paper money bills. You can buy them from some Chinese shop, or from internet or you can make them yourself, and they are burn for the sake of the dead, or in some cases they are put in their graves.
Depending on the tradition this money, through fire, go to the other world and pay for the sins of the dear deceased so that he or she will not suffer, or the deceased receives them and with them is able to buy whatever he or she needs in the other life, or even some believe that the deceased will not receive the money, but we burn Hell Money with other offerings so that the evil spirits will not steal the real offerings but they will go to collect the money, thus, leaving the offerings for the intended person. So, not only money can be burn for the dead but paper photos, drawings or even written words of anything we want to offer to the dead. It is most usual to burn such money in Yu Lan (Hungry Ghost Festival) which is in the 15th (or 14th in some places) day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese Calendar, which happened in the 20th of August 2013, but it is a general custom for anytime we want to offer some money to our deceased. So, I don’t think there would be a problem burning such money and other paper offerings at the Night of the Dead (Halloween).
I should mention that the world “Hell” in Hell Money doesn’t really refer to the kingdom of demons or to a place of internal suffering as maybe a Christian will understand but to the other world. So if you prefer use the name Spirit Money or Ghost Money. If you want to make your own Hell Money, use a light paper, and make them like real money of your choice but put symbols of the otherworld that you believe in. For example a green dollar bill of lets say 50.000.000.000,00 dollars, having the face of Lord Yama, or Archangel Michael, or Lord Anubis or Lady Persephone, would be an easy to make spirit bill. Is the amount peculiar? Well, I cannot understand why to offer ten bills of one dollar to a beloved while I can as easily offer ten bills of 50 billion dollars.