Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today is Qing Ming or Chinese All Souls Day

Today the Chinese will go to the graves of their relatives who had passed away to show respect to them as well as remember their good deeds. Usually, food will be offered when they pray in front of the grave.

As a regular practice, the Chinese will clean up the graves before doing the praying. This can be done 10 days before or 10 days after Qing Ming. If the inscriptions on the grave have become blur, the words will be repainted with red or gold powder.

I went to my late father's grave with my sister last Saturday to do the cleaning-up and resurfacing of soil on the grave. We had to buy RM60 for 6 bags of soil for the job. The man skilfully carried 6 bags of the stuff on his Honda C70 bike from somewhere to where my late father's grave was and helped do the topping up of soil. Then we put the yellow paper on the surface and use pebbles to press them down in case the wind blew them away, at least for the period when we pray. Then it is time to place food and fruits in front of the grave before we start to pray. The burning of paper money, paper shoes and clothes were done after tossing two coins to get consent. If head and tail shows up, we can start the burning job.

Although burning such paper items will not benefit anyone, it is the custom of the Chinese and a way to show their respect to the dead.

What we did in front of my late father's grave will be almost the same for the other visitors to the same graveyard.

Relatives of new graves have to come to clean up and do the pray on Qing Ming Day. On the fourth year, they can come 10 days before or after Qing Ming to do the task.

That's all for Qing Ming for today's post.

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