Monday, 31 March 2008

Qing Ming - Remembering the Departed

Last weekend, many Chinese in Malaysia went to pay their respects to their deceased loved ones, in conjunction with Qing Ming (All Souls Day). This is a major event in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, the actual day for Qing Ming falls on April 5. However, families can pay their respects to their deceased family members 10 days before or after the actual day.

To my family, this is a major event. Every year we will all reunite and visit my grandparents' and Dad's graveyards to pay our respects . We will clean the grave off lallang, and then in line with the Taoism tradition, we will offer prayers by burning incense and make food offering. It is also a tradition to burn paper money and various paper replicas as we believe the dead will need them in their afterlife.

In the above photo, my nieces and nephews are placing coloured paper on the grave to decorate it. This is a common practice. The children had lotsa fun decorating my Grandpa's grave. My sister had planted some lilies on the grave last year and now it is growing, as seen in the photo above.


Petrea said...

Beautiful photo, great colors and composition. I enjoy your commentary as well.

coconino said...

i miss the tradition. i haven't done it since high school. we used to toss all the colorful paper all over the ground and then secure them with incense... after all the hardworks done, we will enjoy homemade sticky rice dumplings, fruits and water before we leave.

"Use your first smile, your first form of generosity, of love, of kindness—use it at home; start at home. And if there is something left over—if … your plate is just full of abundance of patience and goodness and smiles and joy, then by all means, you should go … and offer that to others. But we must begin at home." by Dr Robin Smith