Thursday, 4 April 2013

Tomb Sweeping Day

Today is Tomb Sweeping Day or Qingming festival in Singapore. The Qingming Festival is an opportunity for family to remember and honour their ancestors at grave sites. Family will pray before their ancestors, sweep and tidy the graves and offer food, beverages and joss paper accessories.
The day normally starts early in the morning by paying respect to distant ancestors from China at home altars. This is followed by visiting the graves of close relatives. Traditionally, the family will burn spirit money and paper replicas of material goods such as cars, homes, phones and paper clothing. In Chinese culture, it is believed that people still need all of those things in the afterlife. The family members take turns to bow three to nine times before the grave of the ancestors. The bowing ritual in front of the grave is performed in the order of seniority within the family. After the worship at the grave site, the family feast on the food and drink they brought for the worship signifying family reunion with the ancestors.
The Joss shops I visited were very busy preparing orders for the festival and many customers were picking the right outfits made out of paper for their loved ones.

Paper money for burning

Paper beer cans

Paper soft drink cans

Paper clothing

Paper accessories

A paper rice cooker

Paper phones and game consoles

Paper food - duck, chicken and pork

Paper skin care

Paper whisky bottles

Paper shirts

Paper boxes to hold the offerings

A paper house 

1 comment:

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