Qing Ming is here-It is that time of the year again where we could freely and visit graveyards and cemetery without any fear of disturbing the dead from enjoying their rest. I believe those who are six feet under are so restless to wait for our arrivals. After all it is not always (once in a year) that we can get closer with our departed loved ones right? I believe Qing Ming has also brought all surviving family members from different parts of the country (or even world) to be together and do something as a family.
Last year I couldn't join my family because of my tight working schedule. But this year I am lucky to be able to join my other family members because their "expedition" was held during one of my holidays. :) Unlike the Qing Ming back in 2011, I could only visit 2 cemetery instead of 3. I had to send my babies to the babysitter and then my wife to her office before joining my other troopers So by the time I meet up with them, it was almost 9am already. Hence I could not visit my great, grandmother. Feels bad! :'(
I met up with them at my grandparents' graveyard. I was the first to arrive, followed by my daddy. My father started by repainting the "flowers" on my grandparents' tombstones. Time has washed away the red paint and of course we had to cover them with new coat of "Red" so that they look more vibrant. A moment later, all my other family members arrived and they too, helped to clean up the tombstones immediately upon touching down.
My uncle, aunts, cousins and my nieces could be seen busy weeding, placing colourful, silver and gold papers on top of the grave, arranging the offerings such as food, drinks etc. It was really a heart-warming sight seeing all of us working hand-in-hand to ensure our departed loved ones are enjoying theirs "Chinese New Year." This year was a bit special because we were joined by my 2 nieces who were visibly enjoying their close encounter with their ancestors as well. :)
After sprucing my grandparents' grave, we began our praying ceremony by offering thanks to the "Palace of the Sky" for protecting my grandparents. Then with joss sticks, all of us lined up to utter our best wishes to my late grandparents. Some of us even asked for some fortune (numbers LOL). After that we waited until my grandparents had enjoyed their meals. How did we know? Well...they would tell us. Then we would start to send money, clothes, cars, golden ingots to my late grandparents by burning them. I hope they received them and are happy with what we sent them this year. :p
Last but not least, we headed to my great, grandfather's tomb which is located in another area. It still beats me why my great, grandmother is not buried next to my great, grandfather. Unfortunately my grandfather is not around to answer this question and I doubt my daddy, uncle and aunts could give me an answer. Back to my great, grandfather's tomb-it was located near a school near our old house. I love this cemetery as it looks very serene and beautiful. I guess my late great, grandfather is happy to be here. :)
After we were done weeding the tomb, we blanketed my late great, grandfather with colorful papers and of course the must-have golden and silver paper as well. We started our prayers once all the food and coffee were put up. Our visitation ended at around 12 noon. The weather on that day was rather accommodating I would say. No doubt all of us were tired, but I am sure we enjoyed every bit of Qing Ming. It was a great time hanging out with my daddy and relatives...and of course my ancestors. Until we meet again next year. :)
So did you "celebrate" Qing Ming?