What is Ching Ming?
Ching Ming is a very special time in the Chinese calendar, it is when Chinese families come together to practise filial piety and pay their respects to their ancestors. In English, this festival literally translates as ‘clean and bright’, befitting the ritual of cleaning and sweeping the graves of their ancestors.
When is Ching Ming?
This year Ching Ming falls on April 5, 2019.
Ching Ming Tradition and Preparations
Actually, preparations start way ahead before the actual day!
A week before
Purchase your offerings – joss sticks, paper offerings and food ingredients for the dishes you would like to offer.
Two Days before
Fold your paper offerings and prepare the dishes.
Chinese families get up bright and early to make their way to hill side graveyards.
Ching Ming Rituals
What do Chinese families do on Ching Ming?
Tidying of graves
Family members will begin by sweeping and pulling out weeds as well as touching up headstone inscriptions with paint and place flowers on the graves. This is a way for family members to show how much they miss and remember them.
Offerings of delicious delicacies
Delicious food will be laid out as offerings to the ancestors. Such delicacies include roasted pork, steamed chicken and Chinese steamed cakes. It is believed by doing so, provides nourishment for their ancestors in the afterlife.
Burning of joss sticks and paper offerings
Family members burn paper offerings for the ancestors to use in the afterlife with “Spirit Money” being the most popular. Other paper offerings include paper replicas of luxury homes, cars and mobile gadgets to provide the ancestors with luxuries in the afterlife.
To sum it all up, Ching Ming is all about spending time together as a family and paying homage to our ancestors by keeping their graves clean and neat. Similarly, a neat and tidy home is also essential to the wellbeing of our time here on Earth.