QingMing: Celebrating Ancestors in Contemporary Times

Every April for the entire month, many residents and visitors from afar flock to the back of Mānoa Valley to visit loved ones and to celebrate those who have passed on in the cemeteryʻs annual celebration of Qing Ming. Each weekend and just about every day throughout the month, the sound and smell of firecrackers going off or faux paper money burning in receptacles are familiar and welcomed traditions associated with the celebration China proclaimed to commemorate their deceased.

“QingMing” means “pure brightness,” and though this festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness, there is enjoyment that comes with the hope of Spring, a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is again lively.

Participants come in droves with tables full of whole roasted pigs, noodles, vegetables, and other Chinese culinary fare. Chinese gongs and flutes play traditional songs of China, and individuals, societies, and families come to the cemetery to sweep the graves of their ancestors and offer sacrifices of food, flowers, and favorites, burn incense and paper money, and bow before the memorial tablet.

Contact Living Life Source Foundation for more information on QingMing at Mānoa Chinese Cemetery – 988.1281.