The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day. For the origin of QingMing Festival, please refer here.
This is an annual event for our LOW’s (刘) family where we would gather near BHP petrol station near the entrance of Perkuburan Kwong Tung Klang at 6:15 am – 6:30 am. This will be our first stop to sweep the tomb of our great-grandfather and grandmother. It was a very wet and gloomy day. Drizzling throughout the day.
This is a long curvy road which is quite steep. Not an easy road if you have less of a stamina to climb it, especially when your hands are full carrying those offerings, food, josstick, cangkul, broom etc. I would call it a ‘reflection’ road. You can do plenty of thinking while climbing the road to and fro.
As the years gone by, the number of family member going for tomb sweeping is getting lesser. It is time to get the next generation to involve in this annual family event. This year, Eric and Mavis brought their 2 princess. Aren’t they a joy to have in the event. Very eager to help around by sweeping and putting offerings to the ancestor. Looking forward to see them next year.
Moving on to the second stop, our grandfather and grandmother in Perkuburan Persatuan Hokkien Klang, Shah Alam. The road to the tomb is normally quite easy to access as compared to the first stop (not so winding, hilly and steep climb to locate). Just beside the Petronas petrol station towards Klang. The only challenge is the steep climb straight hill just before getting to the tomb site.
The tomb is normally easy to sweep as it is better maintained and managed. It is only the huge tree branch that is growing across and right on top of the tomb. I guess our grandfather and grandmother would like fend off the bright sunlight 🙂 We would have to chop off those smaller branches. The leaves are scattered around the tomb in abundance, and it will take a good work of sweeping in here. Each sweep will remind me of our grandparents while they are with us. And this is what QingMing is all about. Reminiscing and recollection of the moment of our love ones.
To do for next year:
- To bring gloves, brooms, parang
- All the children should come for this meaningful event
- The next generation to take charge of the ritual and arrangement, and let the first generation enjoy the event instead
For full photo and video, please refer to this album.
This is the explanation of the famous QingMing poem by a Chinese scholar 李白
的首句 “清明时节雨纷纷”，点明诗人所置身的时间、气象等自然条件。清明节为唐代的大节日之一 ，这一天 ，或合家团聚，或上坟扫墓，或郊游踏青，活动多样。但是杜牧在池州所过的清明节却不见阳光，只是“天街小雨润如酥”，细雨纷纷。
“借问酒家何处有” 一句 。诗人融景伤怀至极，而又要冒雨赶路，雨湿衣衫、春寒料峭。诗人希冀借酒消愁。于是，他便向人问路了。
结句 “牧童遥指杏花村”，点明了上句诗人问路的对象 ，“牧童遥指”把读者带入了一个与前面哀愁悲惨迥异的焕然一新的境界，小牧童热心甜润的声音，远处杏花似锦，春意闹枝，村头酒旗飘飘，真有“柳暗花明又一村”的韵致诗的前两句创造了一幅凄迷感伤的艺术画面，后两句则创造了一幅鲜明生动的画面，前抑后扬，对比交错，相映成趣。与诗人的感情脉搏一致。
See you at next year QingMing.