Qing Ming Festival

7:42:00 PM

Hey guys!

How's everybody doing? Enjoying their weekends, i'm sure :). I just got home from out of town, no, not for leisurely purposes, we went to my great grand parents' graves in Lawang (about two hours car ride from Surabaya) because it is Qing Ming already.

I realize we have a lot of non-Chinese readers (or non Asian), it's becoming another obsession of mine to introduce more about our cultures and traditions since i feel like i have a "voice" now through this blog (i wrote an entry especially to talk about this haha, i will post it sometime in the future). I personally love traditions and customs, i feel "richer" whenever i learned something new from another culture, i hope my readers share my sentiments :).

Anyway, Qing Ming in short, is a day to pay respects to our ancestors (or loved ones that has passed). It is also called "Tomb Sweeping Day", almost literally because that is one day that we (Chinese people/descendants) go to our ancestors' graveyards and "clean" them. Not really clean lah because in graveyards there are people who works there to clean them, right? More like laying flowers on their graves :).
It is one of the most important days in Chinese calendars (along with Chinese New Year, Full Moon Festival, etc) and to this day many Chinese people still holds this tradition dear. My family's one of them (obviously, if you've been reading this blog for a while you'd know my family's highly traditional and superstitious :p). It is so important that my sister's whole family flew back to our hometown Banjarmasin for this festival (my brother in law, KW's parents are deceased so it's very important for them, especially because he is Buddhist).

As you might already know, i'm Christian. But i also always follow traditions to show my respect for my culture and ancestors. Keep in mind, when we go to their graves we clean them, we "talk" to them, we reminiscent about our days when they were still around, but we definitely do not pray to them. We pray to God obviously, so if there's any fanatical Christian who thinks i'm doing something wrong just because i'm celebrating all kinds of Chinese traditions, just keep it to yourself because i do not appreciate anyone being rude to me okay (telling me doing all these stuffs are sinful Is a definite rudeness maximus, okay!).

The graves that we went to belong to my great grand parents (my mum's grandma and grandpa). My grand parents from my dad's side are also deceased but their graves are in Banjarmasin so my sister and brother would go to their graves to represent us (and vice versa), my mum's dad's ashes' in Singapore so the Singaporean family would do that. We also went to L's grand father's (he's my... grand uncle?) grave just nearby my great grand parents'.

We didn't stay long there, just a few minutes to lay lots and lots of flowers :) (and spent more time trying to find L's grandpa's grave LOL, then went for lunch and took Baby Boy for a horse riding session, it ended up like a picnic huh?). Mainly because my mum's family are devout Christians lah so Qing Ming for us is very simple. It is much more interesting with lots of more festivities in Banjarmasin, my dad's relatives mostly lives there and they'd all go together every year to my grand parents' graves. They'd stay much longer than we did in Lawang LOL, they'd burn joss sticks, have a huge meal (both for the living and the dead. I mean, they'd put on lots of food for the dead also hehe, another Chinese customs), also burn paper stuffs (paper money mostly) to send to the dearly departed.

Chinese people mostly avoid getting married around Qing Ming festival and strictly devoted this time for the dead.

Oh, more trivias. You know my mum is super duper superstitious right... She totally forbade us to enter any room after we went back from graveyards (or funeral home) before we shower and clean ourselves completely. We are all on automatic pilot when it comes to this by now haha. 

Oh, my hunny's aunt just passed away a few days ago, last Friday we went to the funeral home to pay our respects, and after that we went to do stuffs (oh, another trivia, after going to funeral homes/graveyards you're not supposed to go back home straightaway. You need to stop somewhere, preferably a restaurant to eat, before going back home. This is supposedly to get rid of any evil spirits that might "hitch a ride" with us from the graveyards/funeral homes hehe) and never got to shower until late. 

We went to A's place because we booked Ndaru that day to cut our hairs, so i asked A and #Undecided whether we'd have the hair cut in the living room or A's room? Because i couldn't (wouldn't) enter her room since i was from the funeral home and hadn't showered yet. #Undecided was like "I thought that only applies to our own rooms?" and i was shocked. I mean "So you mean it's okay to leave any evil spirits in other people's rooms but not our own?" How evil is #Undecided??? LOLOLOL. Oh well, we had a great laugh over that!

Anyway, i dunno if telling you this will make you think i am insane or just slightly disturbed (LOL), but i've always been interested in death and life after death. As a Christian i strongly believe in life after death, and being Asian it also makes it easier to believe in other realms and those kind of stuffs (i know not all of other races thinks the same but most Caucasians i know personally doesn't really believe in any of that, i've been told i'm very superstitious repeatedly by a Dutch friends. I dunno if i should be offended but i don't really care anyway haha).

The older i got the more interested i am in life after death (i guess because getting older means you're getting closer to that end that everybody can expect? Yes, i mean death lah haha), also the process of dying (i know, how morbid. I'm morbidly interested, pun intended). I am always left wondering, if it hurts (you know, when your soul leaves your body), if everybody's scared on that last moments (thinking about it scares me already, i do not want to think about when that time comes for me. But i like to believe i will always be ready for it to come anytime, because i've lived my life to the fullest and have nothing to regret). It is a lonely journey everybody must take, and nobody can tell you how it is since everybody who had gone through it obviously cannot talk to you to tell you their stories right LOL.

But for me personally, since i was really young, i'm not exactly scared of death (i think i was less scared when i was young. You know how it is, when you're young you do feel invincible haha), i am more scared of being left behind. I am a family person (i'm my parents' eternal baby), and when i love-i love whole-heartedly (and hate whole-heartedly as well i guess), so for me the concept of not having my parents with me (or hunny, or Baby Boy. Or my siblings or my friends. I know, i'm selfish) is the scariest thing that could ever happen to me.

I secretly (well maybe not so secretly, i've told my hunny and #Undecided about this but was waved off instantly *LOL*. Asians are very uncomfortable talking about death, eh but i think every nations are mostly the same lah haha) wish i'd be the first to go and never having to go through the pain of losing anyone i love. Yes, i am willing to hack off whatever years i have left in my life and give them to my loved ones as long as they don't leave me. LOL

I do come from a very healthy and generally long living family *LOL* so if i can ask God something, it is to make that day when one of us must leave first to be faraway still.

Readers who found this blog from beauty or fashion related entries might be confused by this entry, don't be :). I love to ramble about anything that comes to my mind hehe. I do hope i don't disturb you all going on and on about such a taboo topic on your weekend though, LOL.

PS : My niece Bb read this blog and wailed, she said i wrote her birthday date wrongly LOLOL. Sorry Bb, your aunt has a memory of a hamster (#Undecided's words). I tried to find the post where i wrote the date to fix it but couldn't find it so let me verify here lah okay, Bb's birthday's on 6th March! LOL. Is that correct, Bb? Don't be mad anymore okay! LOL

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  1. iya kalo abis ke funeral atau funeral home emang gua juga dikasih taunya kudu mandi dulu sbelum masuk ke rumah/ kamar. entah bener atau gak, tapi ya diikuti aja gak ada salahnya. hehe.

    1. Iyah betull, stujuh hehehe... Lagian di pikir pake logic anggep aja kotor kan dari tempat2 gitu, apalagi dr graveyard kan tanah2 gitu ga ada salahna mandi2 bersih2 bar masuk kamar hihihi

  2. So agreeeeeeee about being more scared of being left behind than dying. I don't mind going first because that means I don't have to suffer losing my loved ones. Less sin also, and still looking young and pretty and will be remembered that way :P LOLOLOL I'm kidding lah hahaha I just can't bear the thought of losing people that I love

    1. Huhuhuhu, toss babe... It's my biggest fear loh.. I thought i was selfish thinking that way, glad to know i am not the only one! I prefer everybody around me to have a very long life and me... Just enough to never see them go lolol, let me go first lahhh!!! Hahaha

  3. I like traditions :) xoxo KJ