A time of remembrance

On the Qing Ming Festival yesterday, families gathered to give offerings at the graves of their ancestors at the Choa Chu Kang Chinese Cemetery.

Qing Ming, also known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day, is a traditional Chinese festival that has been observed for more than 2,500 years. It is a time for families to pay respect and homage to their departed loved ones.

During Qing Ming, Chinese fa-milies visit the tombs to clean the graves, pray to their ancestors and make ritual offerings. These usually include their ancestors' favourite food and drinks, and the burning of paper money and joss sticks.

The offerings are to show respect for the dead, and some people believe that they provide their ancestors with all the necessities in the next life.

Though the festival is not an official public holiday in Singapore, people often take leave to participate in the ceremonial activities.

In China, the festival is also a time to head out to enjoy the spring weather as it marks the beginning of the season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'A time of remembrance'. Print Edition | Subscribe