Celebrating Ching Ming festival in China
The Ching Ming festival is one of the most important holidays to honour ancestors in the republic of China and Hong Kong. According to the Chinese, Ching Ming means clear and bright. This well accepted festival is observed 105 days after the cold food day is celebrated. That means Ching Ming celebrations fall either on the 4th or 5th of April yearly depending on the previous year’s winter solstice. Undertaking any form of business during the Ching Ming holidays is seen as inviting some bad luck to those who do so.
Ching Ming festival is also popularly known as the grave sweeping day or spring remembrance. In other words celebrating the festival have two main purposes. Thus, observing the coming of spring and the giving time to honour the deceased family ancestors. During the festival, Chinese people visit cemeteries to clean their ancestors’ graves. The cleaning involves removing weeds, touch up on the tombstones inscriptions as well as making offerings to the dead.
A variety of rituals are also done by families in honour of their ancestors. For instance, firecrackers are set off so as to inform the dead that their loved ones have come to pay their respect. It is also with the belief that firecrackers are set off to scare away evil spirits. Also burning of incense and paper money is common during the festival. Burning paper money is believed to be an offering to the ancestors so that they use it wherever they would be afterlife. Food is also left on head of tombstone as an offering to the ancestorial spirit for family protection.
Since the Ching Ming festival is celebrated countrywide in China and Hong Kong, there would be traffic congestion leading to the cemetery. The government of China has taken the responsibility to encourage the Chinese population to use public transport during this special occasion.
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