Ching Meng or the Chinese’s All Souls Day will fall on 4 April this year. As it is on a weekday, most people would visit their departed relatives on the preceding one or two weeks after. This is the practice of the Chinese culture.
One of the practices is to burn offerings made of paper to the departed. Over the years, the offerings have been keeping up with recent trends. Of course many modern thinkers have belittled the practice, saying it is a pure waste of money.
Burning offerings is part of the Chinese custom passed down from generations to generations- very much symbolizes filial piety. This is not link to Buddhist practice.
I’ve written another post at length on the ongoing debate about burning paper offerings to the departed and if the offering reaches the departed or not. Often, families would take the time to go back to hometown to make the visit to cemeteries to do these offerings. It is a time for family to get together and during modern times, families can be seen gathering to clean the grave, offering KFC buckets and then eating it (it’s more convenient to have take out fast food than to prepare).
But my mom would go and visit our late grandaunt who had adopted my mom and taken care of her. We also visit my late dad to pay our respects.
Anyhow, just to share with you the visual of some of the prayer items for Ching Meng which over the years have been more creatively done and in line with changing times.
Read also: Hungry Ghost Festival- of ghosts, burning ghost money and being ‘blocked by ghost’