Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Qing Ming At Bukit Cina

We left home at about 5.30 am, and arrived at Bukit Cina Cemetery site at about 6. 10 am. It was still dark, but there are quite a lot of cars already there, and moment later more and more people arrived trying to complete the job before noon, when the sun gets to the top right above the head. Last Friday was an easier one as we did the Qing Ming at the Sleeping Buddha site, Tumpat where my sis's ashes was kept. It was a fully sheltered / covered area.
Doing Qing Ming at the grave cemetery especially on top of the hill is really hot by 8 am. We start of by obtaining approval from the care taker God on top of the hill, before cleaning the graves. After cleaning the grave and the surrounding, food and prayers will be offered to the death. Usually the cleaning and prayers will be done to more than two or more graves. Some people may do more than eight graves in a day, depending on their own convenience or time available, or they may also choose to continue on some other day. As for us, we did for three graves i.e. my dad, mum and mother-in-law, all at the Bukit Cina Cemetery. Luckily both my grandfather is from China. Or else, we'll have more graves cleaning job to be done.
Qing Ming is not just about cleaning and offer prayers to the death. It is also a day where living relatives from far and near get along to meet and have meals by the grave of their ancestors. During the earlier times, Qing Ming was done on the 5th April every year. But as time goes on, more and more people work further away from their home land, and as such Qing Ming day become more flexible, something like 10 days before the actual date in order for relatives from far distant to come back and gather. Come this Friday, I will be doing Qing Ming at Pauh Lima Cemetery. This time it will be a bigger group as our cousins from Bangkok and other parts of Thailand will be back. I will be busy chauffeuring 7 of them to visit our ancestors on that day, and at the same time having party among ourselves with the rest of the cousins !

9 comments:

Fendi @ Motojhiro said...

saya ambik gambar mlm tanpa flash, nice blog u have.

Thomas C B Chua said...

kbguy, yours truly n wife will be doing our duty this 3rd fo April. feel guilty have not been back for Ching Ming for 32 years!!!!!!!!

tomkelantan

fishing guy said...

KB: That is a moving post, thnaks for sharing this part of your world.

Tabib said...

Beautiful Qing Ming photos.

J said...

Interesting post - is it a national holiday like it is in China? I hope you got my email about Beijing and Xian. I am visiting Malaysia in July and August so I may want to pick your brains about it. If that is ok. :)

Arija said...

It is good to see so many people honouring thir ancestors. A moving posot.

Clara said...

This is a very interesting custom and one that is new to me. I knew that ancestors are revered in Asia, but did not know about this particular custom. I'm glad that in addition to honoring the dead, you also celebrate relationships with the living. Family is so important!

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