Saturday, April 01, 2006

Qing Ming Jie

Today, tomorrow and the next day a festival is celebrated in China. It is called Qing Ming Jie, which means "clear brightness day," or "Tomb Sweeping Day. It is one of the few holidays that follows the solar calendar instead of the lunar calendar. It is celebrated two weeks afetr the vernal equinox.
As Lady was running down the mountain yesterday morning, she and Belle ran into THOUSANDS of school children on their way up the mountain to commemorate the death of soldiers and citizens who died fighting the Japanese. Many had made white paper flowers to decorate the site. As they walked past Lady, they cried out,"weiguoren" (foreigner), and many said hello. Some of them knew her and called her by name. Lady has visited many schools in the city, and has been on television three times.
This morning as Lady ran down the mountain, she passed many families on their way to sweep the tombs of their loved ones. They carried pick axes, shovels, flowers, paper money, offeratory foods and drinks, as well as snacks for themselves. What they didn't carry was incense and lighters. There were tables set up to collect any lighters they might have. It is part of the tradition to burn incense in front of the tomb, but it is forbidden on the mountain as a precaution against fires. To Lady, it appeared as a parade. After 8:30, only families with tombs on the mountain were allowed through. Hundreds came. Lady will try to get some photos for you. She will climb a different mountain tomorrow. There's a race, but Lady just walks very fast. Running isn't good for her arthritic knees. I try to get her to run all the time. It's a 10K race. Lady would be in the over 50 group. Those folks pass her all the time on her mountain.
I won't be going. After all, I am just a little dog.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic….

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