Friday, April 6, 2012

Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) Day

Wednesday was a holiday here known as Qingming, which is comprised of two parts: tomb sweeping/cleaning and a spring outing. A mixture of sadness, as one remembers those who have passed, and happiness in the joy of spring brings the day together.

We live near a cemetery and for the last few weeks the tombs have been cleaned of weed and other debris. Wednesday found many cars lining the road alongside the cemetery as people drove up to pay their respects. In Taiwan, the burning of paper money occurs on many instances. Last year, when Krista was in China, she found that the burning of the money was highly discouraged due to environmental reasons. No so here. Burn, money, burn.

We live on a tiny little street and it is common on festival days to have garages open and small burn barrels wheeled out. People build a fire and begin shoveling wads of paper money into the burner. It's great for the lungs.

The backdrop of a cleaned up tomb area.

In addition to burning paper money, the recently cleaned tombs are also adorned with lots and lots of paper. The yellow in the photo below is paper money held down by a rock or other object. As the wind begins to blow the sky fills with the paper as it scatters and eventually lodges in cracks or finds its way to the river.

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