This morning I should have woken up before 6:30a.m. Instead I only came to my full "awakened" senses at quarter past 7. Damn I was late for an important event today-Chong Yang Festival (重阳节). 2 years ago I blogged about my very first experience in attending the 3rd Chong Yang Festival...remember? So this is my third straight year, donning the customary "red" coloured clothes, making my way up the legendary hill. As I was late, the moment I arrived...hundreds if not thousands of people had already congregated, awaiting for their marching order!
Welcome to the Three Treasures Mountain (三宝山)
I guess I reached my destination just at the right time huh! As I have mentioned in my previous post (3rd Chong Yang Festival), today is the day we celebrate our forefathers and ancestors who have dedicated their lives for us. That is why we celebrate this meaningful festival on top of the Three-Treasures Mountain (三宝山). Why on the summit of this mountain? And not another venue? You see this mountain is actually a graveyard. Yep! Most of the tombstones here are a few hundred years old with the earliest one dating back almost 500 years ago. Hence Chong Yang Festival is celebrated here as it signifies the sacrifices made by those who came here long before our time.
As there were so many of us, we actually had to line up to hike the mountain. While we were marching towards the summit, I took the liberty to snap some photos of tombstones. Yes...some of them very rather old and the carvings had faded. What really warms my heart is the sight of chrysanthemum being placed beside the tombstone. It's like a message saying, "You are gone, but never forgotten!" The backdrop of grass and trees make the whole ambiance so soothing...
We are almost there. :)
We could hardly walk anymore as we approached the crest of this legendary mountain. The hilltop was virtually flocked with...with...humans
and ghosts of course. LOL :D So what did we do at the peak of the mountain? The curtain raiser for the day was the energetic performance from a group of 24 seasons drummers. Then as usual we had the so-called opening ceremony speech, followed by the singing of choir group and the gracious moves by a troupe of dancers. The highlight of the day was the praying ceremony, where 3 selected leaders who represent the Chinese community, stepped up to uphold this solemn occasion.
This meaningful event reached its climax after hundreds of balloons were released after the praying ceremony. Aww...watching these red and pink balloons streaming up the sky was such a sight to behold. Rest assured that all our prayers have been read by those up in heaven, especially our forefathers and ancestors. It touched me to see not only the presence of old folks being. Toddlers, children and teenagers were here to show their gratitude as well. I hope one day I could bring my own children to this eloquent festival. :)
Messages bound for heaven?