What is the QingMing Festival?
QingMing Festival is known by many names including tomb sweeping day. Is a day where people visit the graves of their relatives and loved ones. They do this to honour and pray for their ancestors. It is a spiritual festival that may include certain auspicious activities thought to ward of evil spirits. One ritual is to keep willow branches by your door.
Origin of QingMing Festival.
The QingMing festival can be dated back over 2,500 years. It was originally introduced by an emperor to put to an end to frequent lavish and extravagant ceremonies by the wealthy going on throughout the year. It has since become custom to pay homage up to 10 days before and after this date.
What takes place during the QingMing Festival?
Despite its connection to dead ancestors QingMing remains an upbeat holiday. With activities such as singing, dancing. You will also see kites flying in the shapes of chinese opera characters. Families take this opportunity to spend time together and go on family outings. The day will usually start with respects being paid to the deceased of great national importance.
Forgot to take your iphone to the afterlife?
One thing that will always surprise many foreigners during QingMing festival is people burning ‘hell money’. Adding to this surprise will be the burning of and paper goods imitating shirts, suits, and the latest gadgets. It is believed that you still need these things in the afterlife. To send them to your ancestors they must be burned. Don’t forget to mention in your will what you want sent to the afterlife.
QingMing Festival is something that those who are ancestrally Chinese and live overseas still partake in. Qing Ming activities can be seen predominantly in Singapore and Malaysia.
What to expect travelling during QingMing?
All official and public offices will be closed. Depending on where you are smaller independent retail shops may likely be closed. Larger consumer shops and services should remain interrupted. It is worth checking in advance specific to your activities and location.