Qingming, or Ching Ming, was on April 4th this year. This festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day or Chinese All Soul’s Day, marks the day when the Chinese community honour their departed relatives by making offerings to them. This is a cultural festival not a religious one.
During Qingming, all varieties of food (depending on one’s preference) as well as joss stick, incense, joss paper and paper money (depending on one’s religion) are prepared prior to visiting graves.
Once at the grave sites, the tombs would be swept and grass around the area pulled up.
Though I don’t observe Qingming, I’m always fascinated by the types of offerings that are burnt for the dearly departed. A typical offering that is burnt during this festival is paper money. Other types of offerings include model houses, electronic items and this year, even a sports car!
It is believed that all these paper items that are burnt will reach their ancestors who’ll be able to enjoy the objects in their afterlife.