::every cloud has a silver lining:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::every cloud has a silver lining::


Apr 6, 2015

இ QingMing清明节

Yesterday (05April2015) marked the official day for celebrating QingMing festival, one of the Four Major Traditional Chinese Festivals, observed by the Chinese community of the Daoist/Buddhist faith. Phrases (in Cantonese) like ‘Where and when you gonna ‘haang Qing行清’ ? lit. *'walk Qing' are pretty common these two weeks. What is this Qing all about?

清明节 QingMing Jie lit. translated as ‘clear’ (Qing) & ‘bright’ (Ming) festival or tomb sweeping day which usually falls on 4 - 5 April each year, celebrated either 10 days before or 10 days after the official QingMing day.

This festival originated in the 7th century BC, started by an accidental tragedy set upon by the Duke Wen (pinyin: 晋文公) of Jin himself who was so overwhelmed with grief of his lost friend and subject Jie Zitui (pinyin: 介之推) in a forest fire. The Duke created the Hanshi Festival (pinyin: 寒食节 or Cold Food day) to commemorate the loyalty of his subject Jie Zhitui. Another version of QingMing Festival involved the Tang Emperor, Xuanzong in 732 who was well known for his frugality as not to indulge in extravagant ceremonies in Tomb Sweeping Day or Ancestors Worship Day. Gradually over the years the practice was adopted by the masses throughout different eras and  eventually combination of both traditions, the Hanshi and Tomb Sweeping Day into the QingMing Festival and kept as a one-day festival.

Across the globe, they commemorate their ancestors by sprucing up the graveyard, sweeping the tombs, removing weeds, burning incense and paper money including the high-tech paper stuff like mobile phone, tablet etc. The Chinese society places great emphasis towards filial piety and has high regards of remembering its roots. In Chinese mythology there is this 三魂七魄 *pinyin: sān hún qī pò* ~ three immortal souls and seven mortal forms. Perhaps another great opportunity for a future post on sānhúnqīpò? Setback is, as a Bananaz (who cannot read and write Chinese), the ever loving friendly dumb professor Mr Google is not able to provide a clear translation on the seven mortal forms. It may take awhile to get the right source and translation. Coming back to the three immortal souls ~ when someone dies, the 1st soul goes to meet Yanluowang 閻羅王, the god of death and the ruler of Hell who is also the judge who passes judgment on all the dead, the 2nd soul goes to the the grave and the 3rd soul goes to the ancestral pedestal/tablet (pinyin:神主牌 shénzhǔpái) placed at the ancestor’s hall, house or temple. Most importantly regardless of wherever the soul is, one thing for sure QingMing is able to enhance the togetherness of the entire family members as an outing at the cemetery year after year.

Image courtesy of Sin Chew Daily
Changes happening in China..A new high-tech way of inscribing QR code onto the Tombstone head, a picture paints a thousand words...!!!Anyway in this modern era most memorial parks are pretty well organised and orderly, practically sweeping of tombs are kept to the minimal as they are well maintained.

Online services are available too through internet memorial services for QingMing catering mainly for those who are too busy with work or staying too far away from home. Quite strange to hear people whining about the long traffic jam when going to cemetery for QingMing as it is only once in a year affair but seldom hear complains of traffic jam or long queues at shopping cash counters every week or months. Life is like that?

(Thanks to Twilight Man for all the encouraging words thus sweeping away the dirt & clearing the cloudy weed of returning to blogging after MIA for 8 months. Lucky for Bananaz who somehow survived the gruesome 5 hours left, right and center deep frying by Twilight Man haha.) 

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