Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Monday, April 11, 2011

My World - Chinese All Souls' Day

It has been a yearly tradition for Chinese community to pay respect to their ancestors during the QingMing Festival also known as Chinese All Souls' Day. The festival falls on April 5th every year but the ritual can be conducted 10 days before or 10 days after the date.

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We gathered at the Unique Memorial Park in Kedah to offer prayers and to pay homage to my late father-in-law last week.


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Specially prepared dishes, fruits and dumplings were being offered to the soul of my father in law. The food offerings are later shared among family members.


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I don't know how true this can be but some Chinese believe paper money and material possessions are burnt to enable the departed to live comfortably in the afterlife.


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I know burning incense papers is not environmental friendly but it has been a Chinese religious practice that has been handed down through centuries.


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While prayers are being conducted, I take a leisurely look around the wonderful landscape.


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Divided into several zones, the park is decorated with Chinese-inspired architecture, lovely setting and an environment that evokes peace and relaxation.

We're pleased with the quality service of the memorial park and we feel really good about his final resting place. It made a difficult time in our lives easier. I know my father in law is happily resting here too.

That's My World

21 comments:

  1. Very interesting post - I didn't know about these customs.

    It looks to be a beautiful place to be laid to rest.

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  2. Thanks for insight of Qing Ming, LR.

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  3. I've heard of food being offered in celebration of a dearly departed loved one but i didn't realize there would be such a large amount of food on offer. I'm also glad you had a fine and sunny day to celebate the passing of your father-in-law :-).

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  4. Wow...you guys sembayang so much food. :D

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  5. A cemetery in a nice surrounding. A like the structures of the graves, very unusual for us, in Europe.

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  6. Very interesting beliefs about burning of paper money, LR.

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  7. It is comforting that your father was resting in the cemetery ....
    Thank you that through your photos, I learned so much!
    Good week
    Greetings

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  8. I first became aware of QingMing when I was in China, but I very much enjoyed your pictures. The cemetery looks beautiful.

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  9. Quite a great improvement of the graves more systematic as compared to the older version with no proper pavement. Me too felt bad in the burning.

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  10. wow so much food..and paper money! :)

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  11. Wow, how cool to be involved in something like that. What gorgeous colors all around too!

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  12. Oh that's why a Chinese friend of ours were saying something about the cemetery and how they spent the day there, it was Chinese All Soul's Day. Thanks for this information.

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  13. Such an interesting, fascinating post for the day! And what a lovely place! I always learn something from your posts! Thank you for the information! Enjoy your week!

    Sylvia

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  14. Very interesting post. I was always fascinated by China. May be because they keep most of the things mysterious and not very open to the whole world. I wish to visit China Someday.

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  15. That looks like a wonderful memorial park. Sometimes I wish I could visit the resting places of my grandparents and mother, but they are thousands of miles away.

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  16. Traditions can be so comforting in sad and challenging times. The rainbow umbrellas in the distance are a spark of color to lighten the atmosphere. And the strange curves and knobs of the architecture add a wonderland quality to the landscape.

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  17. Wow! That's a lot of food! I just wonder if our ancestors have reincarnated. If yes, why do we still need to pray to them? Or even burn stuffs for them?

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  18. Sailor,
    The Qing Ming tradition is observed not only in China but by many Taoist adherents all over the world. It is widely practised here in Malaysia too.

    Foong,
    The tradition of offering food and paper ingots came about because we Chinese believe that appeasing the spirits of our ancestors would augur well for descendants. :)

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  19. I like traditions and I would also take money with me, you never know ! anyway which "religion" is right ?
    I also prefer burnt incense papers smell to Diesel smell of the cars !

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  20. Hi There, My hubby worked in China several time back in the early '90's. He told me (as he said above) that he has heard of QingMing.

    What a wonderful tradition and festival. Love the tradition of burning material possessions so that the departed can live comfortably in the afterlife.

    Beautiful memorial park. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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