Tomb Sweeping Day
Let`s have a quick review of what had i done last week. Well, last Thursday was the Tomb Sweeping Day or what we commonly call as 清明節 (Qing Ming Jie) in Mandarin. For the Chinese, it is a day to remember and honour one`s acestors at graveyards. It is the day where all the relatives working outstation come back for a family outings. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep or clean the tombs and offer food, tea, fruits, libation to the ancestors and burn (joss) paper accessories. The rites are very important to most Chinese and still practised until today.
Tanjong Malim Chinese Cemetery.
Probably i had been studying in Japan for five years and then travelling around the world, and lately busy with my job hunting, i totally had forgotten the festival until my mother told me day before. We went to pray my grandfather quite early in the morning to avoid the traffic jam. There, we gotta first pay the GUARD of the cemetery a visit before heading to my grandfather`s tomb. This is a very important custom.
The GUARD and our offerings to HIM.
My grandfather`s grave site, before and after.
My grandfather was buried on the right side. So we could only burn the josssticks and candlesticks on that side. A particular red paper covered on the left side of the tombstone is represent that my grandmother is still alive. Therefore, the left half shouldnt be touched. Well we bought and made my grandfather`s favourite food and fruits. My father even burned him a cigarette.
The offerings for my grandfather.
After cleaning my grandfather`s grave site, and got all the offerings served, we started to burn the paper accessories such as money, clothes, watches, cigarette, cellphone, passport and DVD player that kept inside the boxes. I am wondering how does my grandfather`s life look like up there? With the influences of the technologies, one`s can even now buy paper camera, PS2, MP3, WiFi, etc for his/her loved one.
Well as an educated people who concern the environmental issue, i certainly not agree to the custom that have been followed since thousands years ago. See, just only us, we already had burned so much. How about the other millions of Chinese in Malaysia? Not only here, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, China and other countries that have the same custom as well. Air pollution is another issue, but what i worry most is the global warming issue and widespread melting of land ice.