Ching Ming 2012 – paying homage to ancestors
Ching Ming is a Chinese word meaning neat, clear and bright. The Ching Ming Festival has many names such as brightness festival, ancestor day festival and Tomb Sweeping Day festival etc. On this day, Chinese visit the graves of their relatives and forefathers. They do this to remember their ancestors. People wash the graves of their ancestors and provide maintenance where required. After maintenance, they place fruits and wines over those graves. For this reason, some people relate it as a tradition of ancestors worship. As this festival comes in spring so it’s also known as spring remembrance festival. Although there’s a public holiday only in China but Overseas Chinese on all over the world celebrate this occasion with great fervor.
Duke Wen was an emperor of Jin and one of his followers before becoming duke was Jie. After 19 years of Wen’s exile, there was a day when they had nothing to eat. After some time, Jie made soup for Wen. Wen was astonished that from where Jie had brought the soup. After observing, he came to know that Jie had cut a piece of meat from his own thigh to make soup for Wen. After sometime, Wen became duke and he rewarded all those people who helped him. But during that time, he forgot Jie as he went to Jungle with his mother. One day he went to forest to search Jie but could not find him. On returning back, he ordered his employees to fire the forest. Jie died in that fire but didn’t come out. On third day of fire, Wen ordered to celebrate three days without fire to honor Jie. Therefore the Ching Ming festival started from there and is celebrated even today.
Ching Ming 2012 Celebrations:
Ching Ming festival is celebrated on the 4th or 5th April depending on the winter solstice as it is 105 days after this. Ching Ming festival 2012 was celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion on Wednesday 4th April 2012.
Like previous years, the people of China visited their ancestor’s graves and cleaned grave sites of deceased. They paid respect to their ancestors and prayed for them. Moreover, they offered wine, food and other libations to them.
During the festival, thousands of people come out on the road due to which movement becomes difficult. Therefore, the government of Republic of China suggests using public transport instead of private transport. The public transport provides easy access to the graveyards. Like other Chinese traditions, Green tea was also served on this festival. Any business related activity is considered bad luck on this day so it is declared as a public holiday. Some Chinese also set off firecrackers to remain save from bad spirits who wander on this day.
Ching Ming in Singapore & Malaysia:
There are thousands of Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia. Although they are away from their country but they celebrate this festival faithfully. In Malaysia, Ching Ming is an elaborate family function. Usually it is organized by Respective Clan Association and so it is known as Clan Feast. For overseas Chinese, it’s a family obligation and they also declare it as family celebration. As overseas don’t have an approach to their ancestor’s graves so they celebrate it by visiting the graves of their relatives who died on the nearest weekend. Chinese in Singapore starts this festival by visiting the graves of their relatives in early morning and then arrange a family outing program. There are also some people who visit China especially to celebrate this event whole heartedly.
This festival lets people remember their ancestors, provides them with an opportunity to pay honor to them by discussing their good qualities, achievements, habits and attitude. The most positive effect of this festival is on the family bonding as it provides the opportunity to go for family outing, and spend time together.