Events & Festivals > Festivals & Celebrations

Qing Ming

By: kimberly on 16 Apr 2013
The Qing Ming Festival is a time for Chinese to honour their ancestors. Traditionally, it's a festival for families to 'sweep the tombs' and  an occasion for the young and old to pray to their ancestors. Often, willow branches will be added at the tombs as well, in order to ward off evil spirits.

The Chinese generally take this festival seriously even though it is not an official public holiday. Some of the rituals that the Singaporeans observe during this festival date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

According to customs, families would visit the graves 10 days before or after the Qing Ming Festival. The festival usually starts with families paying respects to their distant ancestors at their home altars and then proceeding to the graves of their closer relatives. Some may even actually return to mainland China to visit their ancestors' graves.

Joss paper and paper replicas of material goods will be burned, as the Chinese believe that the deceased will need these things in the afterlife. After the ancestral worship, the family then dines on the food and drink used in the worship. They usually dine somewhere within the memorial park, whether at the site itself or in the nearby gardens. This signifies a family reunion not only with the family present but also with their ancestors.

The Qing Ming festival falls on 4 April in 2013.

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