Monday, April 01, 2013

Qingming Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day - RT/WW

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paper roast meats 

Our World Tuesday

It's the annual Qingming Festival (清明节), commonly called 'tomb-sweeping day' because people head to the cemeteries to clean tombs and give offerings.

Our family members, young and old performed the usual rituals which include pulling out weeds around the tomb, cleaning the headstone and replacing wilted or dead flowers with fresh ones. We also offered food, burnt incense and paper offerings.

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paper sharks fin soup and abalone

The week before the tomb sweeping day, I accompanied my Dad and an uncle to buy some paper offerings for our ancestors. These would be burnt to ensure that the spirit of the deceased will have lots of wealth and good things in the afterlife.

I was amazed at the latest variety of paper-made goods available for the deceased at this speciality store.  The offerings have gone 'atas' (high-class)! Many of them are world famous luxury brands which the deceased might never afford to own when they were alive. :P

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paper notebook

Dad had ordered another pair of paper dolls which would be burnt and sent to my grandparents to take care of their needs. 8 helpers!! I hope my grandparents can handle so many extra hands. Their 'double-storey house' is beginning to look cramped with so many occupants. :P

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paper iPad

My uncle tried to convince us to get a bigger paper house next year. More ageing relatives might 'go down' to join my grandparents any time. It is also cheaper to buy now as prices of made-to-order paper houses are raising every year. -_-'"

I was fascinated with the paper offerings of iPads or iMacs but I did not buy any. To my horror, my uncle bought them an 'iPhone'. I told him to give his contact number to my grandparents and NOT to offer mine. Gosh, if there is afterlife, it is going to be scary.







26 comments:

  1. I saw a paper treadmill in our newspaper!

    Offerings get more modern by day! :)

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    Replies
    1. Wow, paper treadmill! I thought spirits got no legs. How to tread? :P

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  2. Wow! Your grandparents are really being pampered. LOL :D

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    Replies
    1. They have filial children and grandchildren :)

      I hope my descendants would still remember me when I am gone.

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  3. Your post made me laugh ! I think to offer paper gifts is a very nice idea but I just wonder what my grandma would do with an Ipad pod or whatever !

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    Replies
    1. Someone would need to teach her how to use them and you might get messages from her often. lol

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  4. In Hong Kong, the makers of such paper offerings started selling Chanel bags ahead of Qingming. And, of course, they were promptly sued by Chanel. Wonder what would Steve Jobs say when he about his beloved Apple products made into paper offerings?

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    Replies
    1. Oh no. I hope the paper offering store owners here don't get sued. They don't earn a lot selling these.

      A friend sent me a picture of the paper offerings in Hong Kong, I think their branded items are more classy. Taiwan's paper offerings are cute and has more variety.

      Steve Jobs might be missing his Apple products wherever he is now.

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    2. That's funny. Maybe someone should get him the whole lot...iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, etc. LOL

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  5. The modern offerings are neat. I like the ipad! Have a happy week!

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  6. What an interesting custom. I think it is important to honor ancestors and remember them.

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  7. Hello, Dearest EastCoastLife,
    Oh, I never heard of the paper offering! It is always pleasure to learn other culture(*^_^*) 

    PS>I DO hope you will have the chance to come to Japan♪♪♪
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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  8. What a fascinating post. It's great to learn all about a custom that I had never even heard about. The iPhone comment makes me laugh. I think I'd be freaked out by a call from my grandparents too! LOL All of the paper offerings are amazing. So many life-like choices!

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  9. it seems like whatever people have and enjoy in real life, they want their departed ones to have too in afterlife.

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  10. If there's a possible to niche to sell in, someone will find it!

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  11. interesting traditions of paper offerings. :)

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  12. Usual Memorial day end of May..People here usual goes up to Cemeteries to put flowers on the grave. Those who practice the wiccan religion may set and extra plate at the table for those who have past, around Halloween (Samhain)

    ELC ask me over at my blog..http://peppylady.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-good-bar-soap-will-do-just-as-good.html...Day care for a kid costs US$1200 a month!? That's so expensive. How does he manage?
    There many factor on how much one could possible pay for day care in US...Number of children...Arrival time at day care (I'm assuming as mill worker and if he worked first shift he would of started at 6AM to 7AM...so that means he would have to drop off his children half to an hour early so he could make it to work in time.) The day care may charge extra for an early drop off.
    The guy might of second shift which means he went to work at 3PM to 4PM and would get around midnight and then the day care may charge a late fee.
    There programs that may possible help him out and I don't know if he applied for them or not.
    The sad thing is he isn't lazy and end up in Prison for assaulting a law enforcement person.
    Coffee is on

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  13. I wonder what kind of paper offerings did they have before the IPad?

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  14. It is very interesting to learn about traditions of other cultures. And I like that they are being kept alive (even if modernized with the passing years). But it seems like it has to be a little bit hard for you ...almost like one foot in the past and one in the present. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Hi, could I get from you the supplier contact for the modern paper offerings? :) I'm doing a school project on the qingming festival and have been looking for those suppliers who make those more 'modern' paper goods.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you can go to Chinatown or Rocher Centre to buy these paper offerings. Most of the products are imported from Malaysia or Taiwan. For the paper houses or cars, you can have them custom make.

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