I just read about the Breast-Touching Festival. Isn’t it laughable that in our modern world, such superstitions still exist? Superstition really drives people to do many wacky things!
The seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, known as the Hungry Ghost month, began on July 31 this year.
During the Hungry Ghost month, many superstitious Chinese believe ghosts return to the human realm as the Hell Gate is open throughout the month. While the Buddhists and Taoists prepare offerings for the homeless ghosts, a minority tribe in China has their own interesting celebration.
The still single Yi people in Ejia town of Yunnan province will head to the streets for Breast-Touching Festival (Monai Jie) on the 14th, 15th and 16th days of the month. On these days, the men are welcome to touch the women’s breasts without fear of facing molestation charges.
Legend has it that the festival began around the Sui Dynasty (AD 581 – 619) when most of the teenagers of the Yi tribe were forced into the army and died in wars.
The people then carried out prayers to commemorate the dead, and it happened that the ceremony was held in the seventh month. According to the myths, the restless spirits of the young men who had died before they had the chance to touch a woman would claim 10 pure and untouched ladies during this ‘Hungry Ghost Month’ to accompany them in the afterworld.
In a move to prevent them from being chosen, the single women – aged 15 and above – then asked the men to touch their breasts, and the custom is past down for generations.
Maybe the Chinese government should promote the Breast-Touching Festival. If they do that, I won’t be surprised that the town of Ejia would be crowded with male tourists during this festival.
If you are faced with the choice – be touched by unseen forces or by a real live man – which is the lesser of two evils for you?”