Tomb Sweeping / Qingming Festival – China

12 07 2011

This post is in regards to my participation of the tomb sweeping (Qingming Festival) holidays in China that were on April 4, 2011, you can see more about the special holiday below or on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qingming_Festival.  For this trip Kit and I ventured to Hangzhou to visit Kit’s mother’s grave and perform the first year ritual and witness the hundreds of thousands or millions of other people doing the same.   For the two-day journey, we spent hours on subways, trains, buses, taxi’s and walked allot.

We started the journey in the early morning (7:00am) and as you got closer to the burial grounds there was plenty of traffic and people making the climb up the hill…

Swarms of cars and people making the trek

Once you got onto the pedestrian only road there was an abundance of vendors selling snacks and flowers…

Colorful floral display, fruit and snacks with plenty of consumers

The burial grounds were well organized plots, with pathways for people to climb and visit a special burial.  Below is a photo from the bottom of the hill.

View of the hillside

The next challenge was to make the hike up the hill to Kit’s mother’s burial… It was hugely rewarding journey

"Stairway to heaven"

Once we reached the burial it was a ritual to give fruits, flowers, light incense, and burn silver paper that was folded.

RIP "Rest in Peace"

Paper burning

"View from above"

After the prayers and ritual is what time to hike back down the hill and head for lunch…

"The decent"

There were plenty of other families that surround us and were doing the same… many tears were shed and prayers said allowed… everyone bowed to the burial… It was great and enlightening experience.  Thank you to Kit and her relatives for the hospitality, openness and for sharing the experience.

Love is life… life is LOVE

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One response

12 07 2011
Henk Terol

This story and pictures makes me again a big favourite for the Chinese cultural lives. Thanks for sharing.

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