It’s Qingming season. Today, our uncle, G, scheduled “bai san” (bow to the mountain). An annual ritual to sweep the graves of the ancestors. Our family gathers to “sweep the grave” of our great great grandmother. The Cat said it’s a Cantonese thing, although Shanghainese have similar ritual.
It started with a pretty heavy downfall, but by the time we were ready to start, the sky cleared and the sun came out. Great great grandmother must have been pleased.
My great great grandfather’s bones are back in the motherland (great great grandmother carried them back). I think each family does the ritual a little differently. Doesn’t matter, it’s all about respect. Note: Those are the feet, legs,and backs of my relatives (a lucky shot, all will remain anonymous)
Part of the ritual is to share food and drink with our ancestor and burn paper “money” for her to use.
Tea, wine, rice, and entrees for great great grandmother. Why five sets? I dunno. Have to ask my uncle later. Great great grandmother loved to smoke (hand rolled cigarettes) and drink (great great grandmother!) We forgot the cigarettes this year. Oops, sorry!
There’s also an offering to a “guardian” or “gatekeeper” or something (another question for uncle).
There’s usually lunch at uncle’s afterwards, but The Cat is still decompressing after the tax season, so we skipped lunch this year.
Also discovered something about The Cat I didn’t know before, she likes to read headstones (cue Alfred Hitchcock or Twilight Zone music). Hmm, interesting.