Thursday 21 April 2011

A stone's throw away

Living next door to a cemetery, earlier today I noticed a grave where the family had placed various sorts of food and drink: Fruits, biscuits etc. as you can see in the photo above. Out of respect I am not disclosing the identiy of the buried person, but the gravestone carries an Oriental name so this is obviously a tradition from those parts, like e.g. the Chinese Qingming festival which, however, I think took place earlier this month:

'The Qingming Festival is an opportunity for celebrants to remember and honour their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, joss paper accessories, and/or libations to the ancestors. The rites have a long tradition in Asia, especially among farmers. Some people carry willow branches with them on Qingming, or put willow branches on their gates and/or front doors. They believe that willow branches help ward off the evil spirit that wanders on Qingming.'

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