Yesterday was Qingming Jie. Literally it means pure bright festival and is similar to our Memorial Day. Yes, the Chinese actually go and sweep the tombs, clear out weeds, and do a general spring-cleanup. I remember doing that with my mom every year. The added Chinese element is that they take offerings of food, wine, paper money, and incense. These things insure that the loved ones have what they need in the after life.
In GZ, the traffic headed in the direction of the cemetery was heavy last weekend and will be this weekend as well. There is a 3-day holiday and a lot of people take an additional 2 days off to make it a whole week. This holiday and CNY are the holidays when people go back home. Like Chinese New Year, a lot of people return to their hometowns. Not quite the mass exodus of CNY but things were quiet around GZ this week.
Ben told us that about 5 million people in GZ will be headed to cemeteries and mortuaries to pay their respects over a two week period. Mortuaries in China are more popular because where do you bury 1 billion people? He asked me a while ago to take April 8 off so he could go with his daddy and uncle to the cemetery and then they were going out to lunch. We told him to take the whole day off. Usually he makes a fuss and tells us, “It OK. I juss need morning and afternoon until fee o’clock. I drive after that.” Anders and I were pleasantly surprised that he just thanked us and nodded and smiled. For him to do that, it must mean a lot to his family.
So in the spirit of Qingming Jie, may you all go out and sweep tombs and pay respects to your loved ones. Whether or not you take offerings is up to you.
4PM – 72°