Ching Ming Festival- Superstitions



Ching Ming Festival which is also known as the Tomb Sweeping day, is one of the of well respected festival

where the Chinese families sweep the tombs their deceased

relative of family  members.

This festival is alike christian’s All Souls Day.

 

Yesterday, we woke up at 5am in the morning, got ready, had a

light breakfast  and set off to the memorial park where my deceased

father-in-law was buried.

 

Upon reaching the park, there were many vehicles parked along the stretch  of the road, families bringing along little children,teens and

old folks visiting their beloved deceased family  members.

 

One thing particular about my in-laws family is; there weren’t

any school age  children nor teenagers to pay respect to their

belated grandfather.

 

Do you know why?

 

Funny superstitions which I could not believed in my ears.

 

It is compulsory for the sons of my father-in-laws

to perform tomb sweeping day  as  part  of the Chinese culture

and traditions.

 

In addition, the children of the sons are required to attend but

they would rather keep their children

including teens off the burial ground for superstitions belief.

 

My brother in laws and sister in laws believed that children are

advised not  to step onto the burial ground in order to keep

them  off “bad luck”

 

A memorial site is a place where the deceased are being buried which is  considered unlucky for children

to visit even to pay respect to their dearest grandparents.

 

Unlucky is the reasons but there are a few other reasons that

sums up :

 

  • Dirty place to step on
  • Unlucky to bring back bad luck home
  • Children might disturb the deceased spirits
  • Children couldn’t stand the scoreline heat under open air
  • Inconvenient for them to pee when required

 

 

Hence, since my father-in-law had passed away for the last few years, none  of his  grandchildren of his daughters and sons had ever  visited the memorial park on Ching Ming Festivals.

 

 

Fortunately, my hubby isn’t the superstition type of son.

Instead, he strongly encouraged my school age son and teenager daughter to visit their grandfather tomb, pay their respects

yearly.

 

 

In addition, he also asked me to come along even though I could not touch the  incense , joss sticks or

any prayer materials since I am a Christian.

 

He said that giving tons of excuses to exempt young children

from attending  Ching Ming is disloyal, inducing farther distance

of relationship between the deceased and the future

generations.

 

In the near future, our young generations may not attend Ching Ming festival  anymore after the big mistake that parents themselves

had embedded into their mind set.

 

Who then would pay respect to you when you passed away then?

Copyright allrights reserved and photos by peachpurple



Ching Ming Festival = Tomb Sweeping Day

April 2nd is Ching Ming Festival.

It is also known as the Tomb Sweeping Day which is similar to Christians All Souls Day.

burning joss sticks by pixabay
burning joss sticks by pixabay

This is a special event that all Chinese families.

It falls on the 3rd month of the Chinese Lunar calendar ( February is the 1st month where Chinese New Year was celebrated).

This is the day where my mother in law and her adult children plus grandchildren would visit our deceased father-in-law and grandparents in law at the cemeteries. ( 2 different locations )

 

the place where we can burn the effigies, money paper by peachpurple
the place where we can burn the effigies, money paper by peachpurple

 

Schedule practiced every Ching Ming

Wake up time: 6am

Reach at cemetery : 7am-7.30am

Prayer time: 8am 

Things to do: 

Everyone has to do a task for our ancestors.

  1. Tidy the headstones
  2. Remove the tall weeds and grass
  3. Light up the incense
  4. Burnt money paper
  5. Burnt effigies that resemble cars. clothes, necessities items,  motorbikes, cellphones, sandals, etc.
  6. While burning the money paper, we had to shout “huat ah !” which means “PROSPERITY”- help us to get rich
  7. Place real edible food in front of the tombstone in order to allow the deceased member to “consume” the food first as an honor and respect. ( had to wait at least 1 hour )
  8. Food displayed are steamed bao ( means to win ), roast pork or chicken ( means every meal we will have meaty food), dumplings ( to replace rice- means our rice bowl- source of income) and cakes or sweets ( means  happiness )
  9. After 1 hour, we had to pray to the deceased member starting from the eldest son/daughter, followed by the 2nd and 3rd, so on and so forth until the youngest grandchild.
  10. Each member had to hold 3 burning joss tick, clasp both hands together, kneel down and speak softly or in the heart, bow down 3 times.
  11. When everything is done, the food is shared among ourselves, either we can take the food home to heat up or consume there with ashes and dirt on the food we had prayed.
  12. Make sure all the trash are cleaned up before leaving the site.
heel money or money paper by peachpurple
heel money or money paper by peachpurple

 

Serving cold baos to our ancestors by peachpurple
Serving cold baos to our ancestors by peachpurple

The only disadvantage is the hot, steamy, weather. It is usually hot, dry and sweaty when the sun comes out at 8..30am in the morning.

By the time we finished the prayer and eating, it would be around 11am.

That is when my son gets very temperamental and shows tantrums. He can’t stand sweating under the hot sun.

I did tried to shelter him with a big umbrella but without any wind blowing, he sweats profusely.

Copyright allrights reserved and photos by peachpurple

Some photos by pixabay

 

School Holidays- I needed a short vacation

One of the shopping mall we frequently visited by peachpurple
One of the shopping mall we frequently visited by peachpurple

School holiday had started on March 11 until March 20.

Although it is a week of school holiday, my son is very , extremely bored staying at home doing nothing but playing smartphone game’ Plant vs Zombie”

Besides that, he had been bullying her teenager sister who was accompanying him throughout the whole week.

As for me, I am sick and tired of cooking 3 times a day for the whole week.

During school days, I don’t cook much, just once a day.

Morning breakfast at 6am, hubby and I had breakfast at the Mamak shop.

Then we order take away for my son and teenager lunch.

So, I need to cook for dinner. It was a breeze for me.

But now, I had to cook 3 times daily because everyone wakes up late in the morning and sleep late at night.

That is why I needed a short vacation.

I was hoping to take a short vacation , outstation holiday to get away from the daily household chores and cooking.

My son also needed a break because he is bored at home doing nothing but playing.

Furthermore, he had never been to the zoo, science centre, fun fair, etc.

The only place he had been was shopping malls throughout our nearby residence.

He is bored, so am I.

Dad was looking out for a budget vacation.

He is hunting down for coupons and vouchers with discounts for hotels and dining.

He had found a handful of cheap budget hotels and inns with discounts but no parking.

That is a headache. We needed a parking lot to park our car since we planned to travel by road.

Another problem is the booking date for the budget room are all occupied due to the school holiday.

Anyway, today is March 18, another 2 days, school is going to reopen.

Our short vacation dream is puff up into the air now.

Sigh!

Hopefully we could go for the short vacation in the next school holiday which is in June, 2 weeks of no school day.

Yes, pre-booking is essential but dad schedules are not fixed, that is the problem.

Question:

Are you having a short vacation?

copyright allrights reserved and photos by peachpurple

Top Superstition Beliefs in the Ghost Festival

 

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Prayer food on the alter by peachpurple

 

Ghost Festival which is the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar falls in the month of August yearly.

This is one of the well respected festival that all Chinese descendants strongly believed that Ghost Festival should not be criticized or ridiculed.

It is believed that the hungry ghost ( ghost or spirit from the dead ) are released from the Gates of Hell during this time of the year.

For generations, Chinese families believed that hungry ghosts are wandering spirits that had encounter :

  • unjustified deaths ( accidents/ mishaps/ sacrifices ),
  • vengeance
  •  the deceased body wasn’t given a proper burial ritual or funeral
  • sudden deaths due to unexpected accidents
  • When the Gates of Hell are open, these hungry ghosts started to roam ( fly or whatever ) on our planet earth.

During this time, it is crucial and important for living humans to be careful because the spirits or ghost are hunting down for living humans to replace them, something like possessing into the body. Lots of superstition beliefs are practiced and obeyed religiously.

Although we had seen such thing happens in the movies but in reality, this superstitions did happened to the unfortunate people.

Here are the Don’ts that you should avoid:

  1. Don’ts sit in the front row. There are “Getai” or Opera Street Performance for the ghosts and people to watch. However, those red plastic chairs at the front row are supposed to be left vacant. Nobody should be seated because these seats are reserved for the ghosts to be seated, to watch the performance. Otherwise, you may see the ghost sitting next to you .
  2. Don’t touch , step or kick. Watch where you are going during the Ghost Festival. You may encounter temporary alters on the road side, under the trees, near the drain or on the grass. Never ever step, kick or touch those prayer items offered. These alters are placed there in order to appease and respect the wandering ghost. If you had accidentally step or kick the alter items, quickly say “sorry” to it. You wouldn’t want the ghost to follow you back home,right?
  3. Don’t look under the alter. Prayer alters which are put up at home or temples are meant for the ghosts to enjoy the food offered. Do not bend your head down, looking over your legs because you may “see” the angry ghost eating food. Nobody likes to be seen eating under the table, right?
  4. Don’t stay out or swim. Avoid late night outings especially when the dark night falls in. It is believed that you might “bump” into them. Do not swim at night because those ghosts who were drowned would pull you down too. That is why you don’t see Chinese people swimming at night.

There are many more superstitions which you may find funny or disbelieving but one should not ridicule , make a joke about these myths during the Ghost festival.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

That is what my mother in law and my mom used to say.

Better stay at home !

copyright allrights reserved and photos by peachpurple

International Women’s Day Messages

More Women’s Day SMS Messages here

by pixabay
by pixabay

Yes, International Women’s Day is around the corner.

The date is 8th March which happens to be my son’s exam day, sigh!

Anyway, remember those women in your life who are important to you, who made you what you are today?

Write a note or send SMS message to them with these messages.

Let her know how important she is to you and the importance of this day.

She can be your mom, grandmother, spouse, partner, teacher, boss, care giver or even your neighbor or friends!

As long she is a women or single ladies, she deserve this awarding Women’s Day message!!

Message No.1

  • Thank you for you made me what I am when I am nothing.
  • You have cried with me when I cried, while you also smiled when I smiled.
  • You are truly a perfect companion for me and I remember you today because it’s your day, Happy Women’s Day!

 

Message No.2

  • When you came into my life, everything changed for the better.
  • I do not know which divine magic you used but what I know is that when you came into my life.
  • Everything changed for the better.
  • I join you in celebrating this day with warm love.Happy Women’s Day!

 

Message No.3

  • You’ve faced adversity through resilience .
  • You have resolved your problems by means of a smile .
  • You’ve obscured your tribulations in your heart.
  • All I ask is for you is to be happy today, Happy Women’s Day!

 

Message No.4

 

  • You can do almost anything you put your mind to …
  • You can swim the deepest ocean and climb the highest peak …
  • Be a doctor or fly a plane
  • You can face adversity and still walk tall.
  • You are strong, beautiful, compassionate and much more than words could ever say!
  • Today is yours, and so is ever other day…Happy Women’s Day!

Message No.5

  • It’s true that behind every successful man is a woman who’s actually getting ahead of him.
  • So three cheers to the woman of tomorrow, Happy Women’s Day!

So, which is your favorite Women’s Day Message?

No.1

No.2

No.3

No.4

No.5??

My favorite is No.3 message, solving all problems with a smile ain’t easy at all but the woman in my life did it!

written by peachpurple

photos by pixabay

 

8th March- Lets Celebrate International Women’s Day!

Bookmark your calendar now because 8th March is International Women’s Day!!

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Give your mom, spouse, boss, teacher a rose on Women’s Day by peachpurple

 

Women’s Day is a special day that women all over the world celebrate this day just for women for all ages and regardless of skin color.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries all around the world for centuries

This is the day where women (regardless young or old) are honored, recognized for their efforts and sacrifices throughout their lives for their love ones and the society.

Until today, most Asian and backward countries do not observed International  Women’s Day because they are not educated of the actual facts.

In the past during the olden times, women were regarded as low class people, mistreated and treated as slaves, humiliated without any mercy.

It was first emerged on:

  • 1909– The first time when the workers in garment factories went on strike in New York because the women were enraged and dissatisfied with their working environment. It was acknowledged as the first International Women’s Day in the USA on 28th February.

 

  • 1910- A meeting was held in Copenhangen where 100 women from different countries fought for women’s rights and seek support for women suffering from mistreatment. One year later, 1 million of women and men attended several rallies to demand women rights to vote, to work and to stop discriminating women in jobs.

 

  • 1975: The UN agreed and acknowledge 8th March as an observed holiday for women, International Women’s Day was born.

This is the day that children and men remember that the women in our lives are special, they are important in our lives because without them, there won’t be future generations, right?

Western countries observed 8th March in their calendar as a compulsory holiday but Asian countries do not practice this observation.

Hence, Women associates are still trying to enhance the knowledge of women young and old about the importance of our existence in the society.

We should not let down our guard against the men who discriminate our rights and honor.

Today women stands on the same bar as men, we are legible to vote, to debate, to fight for our rights. Women should not endure social injustice and humiliation.

Hence, on International Women’s Day, you can find posters, seminars, speech events and charity vents held around the countries to create the awareness.

Women’s Day Quotes

 

Question: Do you know or didn’t know the existence of International Women’s Day?

Honestly, do you know?

copyright allrights reserved by peachpurple

drawing by peachpurple

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Mom!

March Event: Happy Birthday Mom!

 

13th March is my mom’s birthday.

She will be turning 64 years old.

birthday cake by peachpurple
birthday cake by peachpurple
  • About my mom

Mom had been staying with my dad and younger brother since I got married.

Unfortunately, mom had stroke 2 years ago and had been a diabetic patient  since childhood days.

All the family members of her side are diabetics, from her grandma, her mom,  her sisters and now, my brother too.

That stroke had affected my mommy left brain, her right hand side leg and arm,  immobile.

Thanks to the acupuncturist, she had recovered 50% of her limbs mobility but  still unstable to walk properly.
Currently, her brain and actions are similar to a 6 year old kid  ( behaves like my boy  )

 

  • A yearly routine

Every year on her birthday. I would call her up to wish her

HAPPY BIRTHDAY , MOMMY!

She was happy to hear my voice and delighted that I had remembered her  birthday.

red eggs by peachpurple
red eggs by peachpurple
  • Birthday Gifts

My dad boiled 2 hard boiled eggs dyed with red colors and whip up a mee  suah soup ( thin noodles ) to indicate longevity.

This is a traditional Chinese custom for birthday celebration among the old folks.

My younger brother will be buying a regular pizza and a Chiffon cake to  celebrate her birthday but she could not eat much either.

Remember she has diabetes.

She loves Hawaiian pizza and Pandan Chiffon cake, those are her favorite food.

Don't feel bag, just say sorry and bury the hatches - drawn by peachpurple
drawn by peachpurple
  • Mom losing her memory

My mom couldn’t remember anything about the current events.

However, she has a very good memory about her past, her childhood days and her siblings whom she missed so much.

Although her parents passed away when she was still young, she still thinks that her dad ( my grandad) is still alive, staying in Singapore.

Her memories of her dad still lingers back to the old days but she couldn’t remember that he doesn’t not exist anymore..

I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the truth on her birthday.

Just let her memories of her past lingers rather than forgetting about them.

She enjoys talking to me because she keeps repeating a topic over and over  again without realizing it.

A stroke patient with the affected brain had lost part of her memory.

She could remember her past vividly but not the present.

She cannot remember whether she had ate her meals, taken her bath,  questions she had asked, literally nothing remains in her brain.

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  • I love my mom

I do not mind talking to her and listening to her repeating stories.

After all, she is my mom.

Happy Birthday MOMMY and I love ya!

If it is your mom birthday, remember to wish her a Happy Birthday, whether she is sick or healthy.

Cherish her when she is still here with you.

Do share with me your opinion. I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading this article.

 

copyright allrights reserved by peachpurple

photos and drawings by peachpurple

No Valentine’s Day For Me!

First of all, here’s wishing all a Happy Valentine’s Day !

I sincerely hope that my Blogjob friends, single or married couples to have an enjoyable romantic lunch or dinner.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February yearly, coincidentally falls on weekends which suited for one day outing for love birds.

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a stalk of rose made by me, peachpurple

My First and Last  Valentine’s Day

Honestly, the first time I had celebrated Valentine’s Day was 22 years ago when my hubby was dating with me.

He had bought a bouquet of pink roses, wrote a ready-made card and put them in a paper bag.

He said that it was embarrassing for him to carry the rose around the shopping mall where I was working.

Hence, he passed the paper bag to me with the gift inside.

I was extremely thrilled and happy because that was my first experience in receiving flowers on this special occasion.

Unfortunately, that was the last time I had received.

After marriage, my hubby didn’t shower any gifts to me nor celebrate Valentine’s Day anymore.

He said that Valentine’s Day is a mushy and waste of money. Celebrating events isn’t his cup of tea.

Hence, I had never celebrate Valentine’s Day ever since.

 

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valentine’s day card by peachpurple

No more sweet Valentine’s Day

Since then, I never look forward to Valentine’s Day as I know that it was a D day for me once I stepped into marriage life.

Every year, I do envy those young lovebirds and married middle-aged couples with kids, walking hand in hand with a stalk of rose in one hand.

I yearned so much to be that lady holding that stalk of rose.

Furthermore, my hubby never held my hand after we had kids too.

I could only held onto my son’s hand or hang over my arms over my teenager’s shoulder.

I resigned my fate that Valentine’s Day will not return as in the past.

No more sweet Valentine’s Day but it is very touching to receive a handmade Valentine’s Day card from my son which he had made in his Art lesson.

Questions:

Are you still celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner/ spouse?

Have you stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Do share with me, Cheers!

copyright allrights reserved, photos and drawings by peachpurple

 

 

Flip A Coin Day- 1st June

1st June is Flip a Coin Day!

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Coins by peachpurple

 

Who created this Day?

According to history, it was created by the Romans, Julius Ceasar who first initiated to flip a coin in order to make decisions which he could not settle with.

According to his statement, if the coin comes to rest facing up with HEADS, that determines the winner while TAILS indicates the loser.

 

 

Interesting Facts About Flip A Coin Day

  • Tossing up a coin into the air and catching it or letting it land on the ground until it stops spinning is the way you flip a coin.
  • Flip a coin has been long practice in the early centuries in order to make a  decision for many events.
  • Majority events included SuperBowl, football, cricket, soccer and even in our  daily life events.
  • Usually, the banker, referee or the coach will flip a coin to decide who will go  first after each party decided to choose HEADS or TAILS.
  • Of course, the winner is the one who chose the HEADS will take the lead.

 

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The winner always vote for KFC take out by peachpurple

When Do You Flip A Coin?

As for me, I usually opt for Flip A coin to make decision when we could not  decide to:

# where to eat during weekends

# who to start the board games on family night

# what to eat for dinner

# who to sit in the middle of the car seat since we have 6 family members  to fit into a 5 seater car

# who to use the computer first

# who to feed the darn annoying cat

# what time to sleep on weekends

=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

So, it is time for you to brush up your flipping coin skill with your thumbs and fingers!

Make sure it doe not flip and throws far away from you !

Do you practice flip a coin when you cannot make a decision?

Who usually wins?

copyright allrights reserved and photos by peachpurple

Chinese New Year Tradition- 5 Things To Do

 

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Red packets for kids and unmarried adults by peachpurple
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Red decorations for fortune by peachpurple

 

Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated festival among the Chinese community in the world.

 

It is also known as Spring Festival where the spring season enters into the new year with warm weather where everyone started to prepare for the upcoming festival.

In order to prepare welcoming Chinese New Year, our family members are always busy at least 1  month prior with shopping for items, food, cleaning and decorating our home with lucky charms.

 

These are the 5 things that we had to do in order to welcome Chinese New Year with auspicious wealth and health.

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Cleaning up with a pail of water by peachpurple
  1. Spring Cleaning
  • Chinese New Year starts on Feb 8th this year (the first lunar month of the Chinese Calendar, I don’t know anything about this!) and ends on the 15th day of the month which is known as “Chap Goh Meh”
  • It is compulsory to clean every corner of the house in order to sweep or wash away all the back luck from last year so that we could welcome “good luck” into out home.
  • Hence, we had to discard broken utensils,hardware items, torn clothes and under garments, replace dead plants with new bright plants, cleaning the windows, changing the curtains, bedsheets, sweeping and moping the floors for every bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and even the toilets.
  • This is the time of the year where kids and teenagers became useful helpers around the household.
  • However, nobody is suppose to sweep the floor and not allowed to wash any laundry on Chinese New Year Eve and the next 3 days.
  • It is believed that the Fortune of God will be coming to our home on those days. So, don’t sweep away your luck!
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money by peachpurple

2) Pay Off Your Debts

  • According to Chinese beliefs, especially business men and employers, it is compulsory to settle company or personal debts which includes giving out salaries to employees and “Red Packets” to welcome good luck to their business. I always looked forward to this moment of the year!
  • In order to start the New Year, one has to have a “clean record” as debts are considered as bad luck. No debts for me!
  • Do not bear grudges with friends, family members and clients. This is the best time to shake hands, forgive and forget about the past. Psst!Just for this festival!
  • Most business related people would distribute boxes of oranges to clients because Mandarin oranges symbolize “gold ingots“. That means money and luck.
  • It is considered uncultured to receive and not give back Mandarin oranges. As if you are taking another person luck and wealth. My mom told me so!

 

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New Clothes in shopping malls by peachpurple

3) Buy New Clothes

  • I love shopping trips! Shopping for brand new clothes, under garments and shoes for the whole family.
  • Try to buy red , orange or yellow color clothes which symbolize gold and luck.
  • All shopping malls would offer Big discounts, free vouchers and free gifts to attract customers to purchase more.
  • Spending money with your salary and bonus always ends up here. Sigh!

 

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New hair cut by peachpurple

4) A New Hair Cut

  • This is the time where barber shops and hair dresser saloons are busy snipping off many heads.
  • Men, boys, women and girls patronize these places to give themselves a new hair cut which symbolize a new you, new life to welcome the New Year.
  • In addition, you have to pay a little more as the price hike up too. Daddy always complains that!
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Free Ang Pows by peachpurple

5) New Bank Notes

  • Local banks will be stocking up new currency notes for bank savers to exchange. For example; if you need $5 , $10, $50 bank notes ( money ), you are required to queue up at the special lanes, list out the amount and quantity you requested.

$5 x 100 pcs = prepare $500 in advance

No extra fees for this service on all banks. The biggest problem are: no parking space, long queues and no more stock of new bank notes. That is where customers temper flares up.

Hence, I always look out for those unpopular banks where the number of customers are low. Furthermore, I can get Ang Pow packets for FREE!!

 

Wishing all friends a Happy Chinese New Year!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

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photos by peachpurple