Tomb-Sweeping Day

Yesterday was Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day. I woke up at 7am to get my daily shot at the hospital, then I hopped into a car with my aunt and uncle to drive to the cemetery. We had to park in a school’s parking lot and take a government-sanctioned service bus to the actual cemetery.

The tombs are mostly located on the side of the mountains, since there is no space in the city for them. We went to sweep my grandfather’s tomb on my dad’s side of the family. Apparently, when I get married, I cannot be buried with the family under my maiden name. I would have to be buried with my future husband’s side because my person would belong to their family’s. We weeded the area around the tomb, swept the dirt and dust, and laid out paper money, food, and prayed with joss sticks (similar to incense).

The day was cloudy, but the rain did not fall. I did learn that you cannot open umbrellas in the cemetery because the ghosts or spirits could hitch a ride in them and go home with you. I hope pictures are different. I just wanted to share the culture, so I hope my ancestors will understand.

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