07 April 2011


For the past 2500 years China has celebrated Qingming, or Tomb-Sweeping Day, a time to honor ancestors and ensure their spirits have everything they need in the afterlife. Spirit money is sold in the market, along with gold colored paper cars, houses, coins, and even clothing.
The tomb is washed and decorated with new red cloth, flowers are placed on the headstone, and food (fruit, nuts, cookies), cigarettes and spirit money are piled on the grave. Wine is then sprinkled around the tomb and incense is lit.
Prayers to the ancestors are said as the offerings are burned.
This cemetery has thousands of tombs and most of them are visited on this day. It's an impressive sight with hundreds of fires burning as ash floats skyward.
We ended the day visiting friends; Jenny is one of our teaching colleagues and her husband gave us a tour of his new design showroom.