Saturday, March 28, 2009

Qing Ming festival 清明节

"It rains during Qing Ming season,
people feeling sadness and sorrow (remembering the departed).
May I ask where to buy a drink (wine),
a boy pointed at a far end village named Apricot flowers."

This is a famous Chinese poem written in eighth century best describing the mood of the Qing Ming festival.

Chinese will celebrates Qing Ming Festival on 4-4-09, a day to remember and honor the departed ancestors and loved ones by paying respect at the cemeteries and columbariums. It can be done two weeks before the actual festival.

We went today early in the morning at 7:00 am to pay respect to my parents and a brother at the Nilai Memorial Park Columbarium. My second sister-in-law has prepared offerings consisting of chicken, pork dishes, cakes, dumpling, coffee, wine and boxes of paper gold and silver.

My father died in 1957 and my mother in 1966. Even though they did not know Christ, but I still pray for their repose through the mercy of God, rest in peace. I also asked them to pray for us. I strongly believed all creatures are saved "through Him, with Him, in Him".

The modern cemetery has diluted the feeling of sadness and sorrow. Moreover, it has been more than forty years since their passing....

So instead of getting a drink after the ceremony, we headed towards Seremban to have Dim Sum for breakfast.

Burning of paper gold & silver offerings 燃烧金和银冥纸



清明时节雨纷纷
路上行人欲断魂
借问酒家何处有
牧童遥指杏花村

这是中国著名诗人杜甫写的诗,最常被引用于形容清明时节的情景。

华人将在四月四号庆祝清明节。这是我们传统的纪念先人的佳节,到墓园或骨灰园追思已亡。在本地,扫墓可以在清明节前两个星期开始进行。

今天大清晨七时,我们就到了汝来的孝恩园骨灰塔拜祭我的父母及一位哥哥。我的二嫂准备了拜祭用的鸡 、肉 、菜肴 、咖啡 、糕饼 、酒 、肉粽等,还有好多包的纸金和纸银。

我的父亲和母亲分别在1957年及1966年逝世。虽然他们不认识耶稣,但我依然为他们的灵魂安息祈求,也要求他们为我们祈祷福佑。我坚信,一切受造物,都是“藉作基督,随同基督,在基督内”得救。

新式的墓园,已经淡化现代人在清明节对先人逝世的离愁和忧伤,守候一堆黄土,青丝变华发不复有。再说,我的父母也已辞世超过四十年了,所以,与其喝酒消愁,我们在拜祭过后,因时间还早,就驱车到芙蓉享用点心早餐了。

Cemetery at the back of my house 我家后面的墓园

2 comments:

Ngu said...

是的,清明节又快到了,每年到了这个时候(年底的 All Souls Day 也是如此),我对人的生死感到很迷惑,对自己的信德有很强烈的冲击。今天看了的贴子,就要说一说,希望你看了,不要去“追究”...

信主的人(包括我自己)是很奇怪,更不可理解,我们参加炼灵弥撒时或为亡者祈祷时,祷文中不是有这样的几句话吗---死亡不是毁灭,而是一个过程,到达永生(天堂)的过程。还有什么在天堂里只有喜乐,没有悲伤等等。 我们表面上很响往这个过程,但是对这个过程却感到非常害怕,因为人人都怕死,

我敢大胆地说,人是不得已,因为不能不死,才说出这样“口是心非”的话。人若有选择不死的权力,说这话的人不多,至少我不会说,我总觉得这个世界虽是丑陋的,却还很可爱。

另一件令我费解的事,一个人对你多好,而你也多喜欢他,但是若他死了,对他也感到怕怕。还有如你说的,一般人对墓地感到怕怕。说穿了,死人或墓地并不可怕,可怕的是那看不见的鬼(除了极少数人能“看”到)。我们明知没有鬼这回事,但是它却隐藏在人的心底最深处。

一个真实的故事,30多年前,我在师训学院时,有一天晚上,我们几个没事做的就大谈特谈鬼。有一个朋友说鬼根本不存在,所以他不怕所谓的鬼。马上就人向他挑战说,口说无凭,若真不信有鬼或不怕鬼, 问他敢不敢独自一人在墓地过一夜。结果那位朋友无话以对,从此他再也不谈鬼存在的问题了。

这就是一个很好「不信有鬼却怕鬼」的例子。

Simon Phun said...

老吴,谢谢你的真情分享。。。:D