Saturday, April 6, 2013

Qing Ming Jie 清明节

Officially, Qing Ming Jie (清明节 in simplified Mandarin) indicates one day much like Chinese New Year refers to the first day of the new year. But like with all traditions, it has evolved with time such that it is now acceptable to carry out the necessary rites anytime during 2 weeks before and after the actual day, thus making it a month-long event.

The actual Qing Ming Jie fell on 4 April this year but families with working adults typically do it on the weekends and my family was no different. The necessary was done today (Sat, 6 April). Due to land  being a scarcity in Singapore, few families have actual ancestors buried in the ground and with tombs (one of the oldest cemeteries in Singapore, Bukit Brown is currently facing a grave exhumtion exercise to make space for a new road).

During Qing Ming Jie, it is customary to burn paper offerings to the ancestors and those who have moved on. There are typical run-of-the-mill stuff which almost everyone gets e.g. nondescript clothes, shoes etc.

And then there are others. Like an SK-III skincare set.

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