Qing Ming, the day that family visit their ancestors at the tomb or niche to do some clean up and pay their respects. In the modern and busy Singapore, time seem to pass real quickly and every year Qing Ming creeps into the calendar of many family. It feel kind of like a responsibility, yet it has to be done, for families that values its past and history anyways.

Qing Ming has turned out to be a day where family members gather, aside from Chinese New Year, to do something together, visiting places, getting things done. Qing Ming for my family is a day of gathering, we gather together to visit and pay our respects at a few of the places that we head to every year, mainly Mandai and Mt Vernon.

We bring paper money, joss sticks and fruits as part of the tradition. After we paid our respects, cleaned the niches of our ancestors, we lay the fruits and paper money out, lit the joss sticks and waited for the joss sticks to be “consumed” while we chatted at the side, squeezing at the corridor with many other people that are there during the weekend.

After all the work for each place is done, we consolidate the paper money and burn them at the large burning area. We spread out all the money, using the age old method, burn the money part by part, slowly, to ensure that the paper money are all burned. It’s very hot during the process of burning but that’s what children enjoy and it’s the process of burning and paper spreading that is fun.

Soon is lunch, or early dinner, much depending on the time that all the location has been visited or task has been completed. My family gathers for a meal before heading off into separate ways, waiting again for the next year’s Qing Ming.