Ghost Month and Bitcoin

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Be Careful with Money, Investments, and Contracts

There are many social aspects to Ghost Month and Ghost Festival. One aspect is financial. A broad stroke synopsis for people unfamiliar with the festivities would be: a time when many Asian countries believe it is bad luck to be overly invested or involved in any financial transactions outside of common purchases.

Ghost Month and Ghost Festival is an important time in Chinese culture. It is also celebrated throughout Asia in places like Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, and even India. In fact it was India where it all began. That means roughly 3 Billion people are aware of the superstitious elements…that is A LOT of market participants co-creating their reality.

For traders this does not mean that the market goes down every year. It does mean that regardless of market performance there is less liquidity in the financial markets. Since Asia is such a huge influence in the Bitcoin ecosystem it is important to understand the superstitions that impact markets, even if you don’t believe in them.

Even if you do not believe in this tradition there is less liquidity and more bearish pressure on the market, even in good times. Let’s take a look at some examples and charts.

Bitcoin: 1st Weekly of Ghost Month

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Half a Decade of Observations

2020

Me Talking About Ghost Month & Ghost Festival: From 17:48-23:36

Ghost Month & Ghost Festival 17:48-23:36

2019

Lots of Chinese holiday & festival dates near Bitcoin price pivots.

2017

This was a historical study showing market momentum turning downward with Ghost Month. 2017 was a Bull Market, but the time around Ghost Month did form a rounded top into a small pullback.

CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE

The chart above is taken from this TradingView idea. —> https://www.tradingview.com/chart/BTCUSD/8TdgdbdV-Bitcoin-Ghost-Month/

2016

Selloff into Ghost Month and a rally once it ended, awesome! In the early years when BTC/Fiat markets had less institutional trading instruments Chinese traders and miners superstitions were even more noticeable on charts than they are today.

2015

Price did breakdown and it proved to be the bottom before the rally to $20K.

Ghost Month & Ghost Festival

When does it occur?

The fifteenth day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month. There are small variations across cultures, but those are the most common dates used.

Who observes it?

China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and India. The largest scale of observance is in China and Taiwan. This is a lot of people.

China, and Asia in general, continue to be a major player in crypto markets and I believe it is unwise not to understand their traditions and holidays if they can impact markets.

Where to observe it?

At home, public spaces, monasteries, large festivals & gatherings, pretty much anywhere. This usually involves food in many different ways.

Why?

The origins of the festival are something I’ll leave to Wikipedia:

The timing and origin story of the modern Ghost Festival, however, ultimately originated from ancient India, deriving from the Mahayana scripture known as the Yulanpen or Ullambana Sutra. The sutra records the time when Maudgalyayana achieves abhijñā and uses his new found powers to search for his deceased parents.

Maudgalyayana discovers that his deceased mother was reborn into the preta or hungry ghost realm. She was in a wasted condition and Maudgalyayana tried to help her by giving her a bowl of rice. Unfortunately as a preta, she was unable to eat the rice as it was transformed into burning coal.

Maudgalyayana then asks the Buddha to help him; whereupon Buddha explains how one is able to assist one’s current parents and deceased parents in this life and in one’s past seven lives by willingly offering food, etc., to the sangha or monastic community during Pravarana (the end of the monsoon season or vassa), which usually occurs on the 15th day of the seventh month whereby the monastic community transfers the merits to the deceased parents, etc

The tradition has spread throughout much of Asia with the aspects of the afterlife and food offerings being fairly universal in all countries and cultures. China would be the country that both has the most people and most observers of Ghost festivities. Since the festival has financial implications, and China is the biggest single Bitcoin market participant it, is wise to understand this holiday.

Ghost Month Bitcoin Returns

YearGhost Month StartBitcoin Price in $USDGhost FestivalBitcoin Price in $USDGhost Month EndBitcoin Price in $USD
2020Aug 19, 202011964.11Sep 02, 2020Sep 16, 2020
2019Aug 01, 201910092.53Aug 15, 201910301.61Aug 29, 20199487.34
2018Aug 11, 20186147.49Aug 25, 20186733.52Sep 09, 20186239.35
2017Aug 22, 20173998.35Sep 05, 20174414.82Sep 19, 20173902.34
2016Aug 03, 2016562.39Aug 17, 2016572.40Aug 31, 2016575.71
2015Aug 14, 2015265.12Aug 28, 2015231.66Sep 12, 2015233.46
2014Jul 27, 2014594.63Aug 10, 2014590.39Aug 24, 2014508.29
2013Aug 07, 201398.19Aug 21, 2013109.83Sep 04, 2013121.23
2012Aug 17, 201213.38Aug 31, 201210.16Sep 15, 201211.67
2011Jul 31, 201113.38Aug 14, 201110.75Aug 28, 20119.08
2010Aug 10, 20100.07Aug 24, 20100.06Sep 07, 20100.06

Ghost Month Bitcoin Returns: Descriptions

YearNotes
2020
2019July 10 @ $13100 sold off to Aug 1 low with a 28% decline. Price went up but ended lower at the end of ghost month. Later consolidation leads to a sell off and bottom on Dec 18
2018July 24 @ $8484 sold off to Aug 11 low with a 31% decline. Price went up but ended flat at the end of ghost month. Later consolidation leads to a sell off and bottom on Dec 15.
2017This was in the midst of a massive bull market. The 1 month period was flat, however it contained the largest bull market correction at 40.5%
2016Market action over the month was flat. But the 4 days prior to starting was a sharp 25% correction. And the 4 days after was a breakout.
2015There was a 25% correction between the start of Ghost Month and Ghost Festival. This was the last selloff before the $20K Bull market began.
2014Ghost Month began the same day that a large triangle broke down. This did not end until Jan 14 2015.
2013The Bull market got the best of Ghost Month. But shortly after it ended there was a sharp 2 day 30% stop run to 106.78 that got within 10% of the start date.
2012The start day was the end of a large rally. It lead to a 3 day 50% selloff to $7.67
2011Ghost Month began the same day that a large triangle broke down. The Ghost Month drawdown was 56%. This bear market did not end until Nov 18 at an 85% correction.
2010There was drawdown from 7cents to 3cents during Ghost Month

Dates Visualized

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What Will 2020 Bring?

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