In the early morning on 30th March 2008, just like any normal Sunday, I woke up very early at about 0515 hrs and wash up double quick time and my whole family depart to Bukit Pasir, Muar, Malaysia, for an important festival today, Qing Ming Festival.
Qing Ming Festival also known as Tomb Sweeping Festival is one of the important dates of the Chinese Lunar Calender. This is the time whereby the extended family would come together, pay their respects and honour their ancestors at grave sites. First and foremost, upon reaching the graveyard, it was very crowded and full of people from the town of Bukit Pasir and nearby towns and villages, young and old, all coming together visiting their ancestors grave sites.
Along with my aunties, uncles and cousins, we went about cleaning up our ancestors graves sites, pulling weeds, sweeping the surroundings, offering food, tea, joss papers and gifts and not forgetting all of us there offering our respects to our ancestors, namely, Grandpa, Great-Grandma, Great-Grandpa and my 2nd Uncle.
In a modern and fast paced society today, such festivals hold a huge significance, bringing us back to our roots, family history and humble beginnings. We must always remember our ancestors that slogged and worked, giving us and blessing us the opportunities today for our parents and ourselves to excel and be successful in our family life and careers.
Today was a great time to spend with my Grandma, recently celebrated her 90th Birthday in July 2007 and I didn’t go back during Chinese New Year Celebrations to be with her. Grandma is a great strong woman whom I respect her a lot for her toughness, hardworking attitude and determination, traits that shapes the entire extended family up till today. We had a bit of fun time with her repeating topic of interest with respect to me in particular only, along with my auntie.
Today’s Qing Ming Festival had evoke my emotions and feelings, that I am blessed by my ancestors and how their teachings and ethics were passed down to the future generations today.
I would make a greater effort to spend more time with my Grandma !