Chinese celebration of Festival of Pure Brightness or Ching Ming.
Past generations have guided the practices of Ching Ming, which include the trimming of overgrown foliage, weeding, cleaning, repairing and replanting of ancestral grave sites. Ceremonies and rituals honoring one’s ancestors involve the presentation of food and symbolic earthly possessions. A roast pork represents earth, fish the sea, and chicken the heavens. A portion would be placed on a very low altar over the grave of the deceased, along with small cups of tea and their favorite liquor which is poured on the grave to quench their thirst. Other food like dim sum, sweet buns, oranges and tea are consumed at the grave site picnic style among family members. Ritual items include incense, fresh flowers and decorative ornaments. Ceremonial offerings such as imitation money embellished with gold or silver foil, folded in the shapes of boats, along with hell money, are burned at the end of the ritual. The more money burned, the better for ancestral spirits to buy services or merits in the spiritual world. Firecrackers end the visit to ward off evil spirits lurking around the cemetery. It is a time of reflection, remembrance and communion with past generations. The event often becomes a family reunion at the graves of one's ancestors.