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