Cheng Beng aka Grave Cleaning Day


Went back last year with some unfortunate sucks-big-time bus incident, and decided to go back this year too since mom's birthday was around the corner (6th April).

The actual day fell on the 4th of April. On this day, we had a simple praying rituals going on such as serving food to the deceased (of all) and burned paper money for them. The weather has been so hot for the past few weeks, I literally drank the whole bowl of lychees and pineapples cordial once it was removed from the praying table!

We went to the paternal side on Friday, along with my aunties, uncles and cousins. The routine was pretty much the same, started at Tanah Merah grandpa's and great grandparents'. To simplify the praying process, the granduncles from 'nearby' were 'invited' to 'join' along with great grandparents during 'food serving' and praying. From 'inviting', it would simply be carrying incense stick, went to their grave, 'asked' them to go over to the party set up at great grandparents' place. Cool huh~

Things were great when we are with a bunch of elders and foods around; you eat, drink, chat like a picnic, extreme hot weather notwithstanding. Suddenly, uncle started to 'verify' the one who comes back from the North between Tino and I, and to my surprise he still remembered my unfortunate bus incident happened last year that dad had to fetch me from Jeli, which is around 30-40 minutes journey from Tanah Merah.

The day ended with some sunburned ache on my neck.

Next day, we went to my maternal grandparents' grave. For some people or culture (Chinese, obviously), they don't commonly visit the graves of their maternal side after they got married, where one of my grandaunt-in-law is practicing that. So I do get some comments or doubt from some friends when I tell them about visiting my maternal grandparents' grave, like "Oh ok, I thought people usually don't go to their maternal side"

My parents have four daughters. So, what, after I get married I'm no longer obligated to them?
Sorry I get offended quite easily. Pardon my short temper.


Anyway, the maternal side's graves are at a Temple at a place we called 'Balai'. The temple is famous of its herbal sauna services, and grandma used to bring us to the sauna very often as she sometimes provided the herbal leaves and stuff for the sauna. After a grand renovation few years ago and a construction of huge Buddha statue, the temple becomes one of the tourist attractions in Kelantan.






Just one thing though. There's this dinosaur figure at the side of the temple which is pretty clueless of its existence, but amusing nonetheless :)

Comments

Rurousha said…
Not an interesting blog? Hmph.

I came to check whether you'd written about writing yet, but then I read this fascinating post about cleaning graves.

It's done in Japan, too, on the spring and autumn equinox. The autumn ritual is usually more important, because it's in the middle of Obon (I think it's called "Hungry Ghosts Festival" in Chinese culture).

PS: That dinosaur made me laugh!
*~Huey Nee~* said…
Hi Rurousha, thanks for visiting :)

This is an annual event in Chinese calendar, it involves praying ceremony at the house on the 'actual' day and cleaning graves between a week before and after the actual day.

That dino gives a giggle to the visitors of the temple LOL.

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