Ching Ming Festival

Hong Kong's Ching Ming Festival...what is it?

Hong Kong's Ching Ming Festival...what is it?

Ching Ming, the yearly ritual of paying homage to the dead by sweeping their grave and burning paper offerings is steeped in Hong Kong familial tradition. But, how did this ritual begin and why are paper money and Louis Vuitton bags burned?

Tuesday, 26 May, 2015, 1:25pm

Ching Ming respect for the dead … and Louis Vuitton

Paper Chanel handbags, on sale at a store in Sai Ying Pun, were among the offerings being burned at Diamond Hill Cemetery. Photo: Felix Wong

Hundreds of thousands of people paid tribute to the dead during the Ching Ming "grave-sweeping" festival yesterday but there was a whiff of change in the air amid the smoke of burning offerings and incense.

5 Apr 2013 - 3:57am

Where the living face rocketing costs to bury the dead

A Chinese woman tends to a grave of a family member at a cemetary on "Qingming" in Beijing. Photo: AFP

People on the mainland are finding death as unaffordable as life as prices of urns and graves soar. A funeral supplies store at Beijing's Babaoshan graveyard now charges between 4,100 and 12,300 yuan (HK$5,100 and HK$15,400), The Beijing News reported. One carved white jade urn fetched a whopping 119,850 yuan.

5 Apr 2013 - 4:44am

How QR codes are adding a load more memory to loved ones' memorials

Flowers and a QR code grace a tombstone.

Some canny mainlanders have discovered a way to liven up their trips to the cemetery with a bit of modern technology. Those visiting tombs of relatives during today's Ching Ming grave-sweeping festival may be surprised to see others at nearby graves huddled around a mobile phone, possibly shedding a tear - or having a good laugh.

4 Apr 2013 - 11:07am

Talking points

Kan Tai-keung

China Guardian Auctions, a mainland auction house specialising in Chinese artwork, will hold a two-day Spring Auction Sale Series of ceramics, painting and calligraphy including Hong Kong ink paintings at the Island Shangri-La in Central.

4 Apr 2013 - 3:17am

Urgency needed to end columbarium confusion

The severe shortage of columbariums which meet legal requirements is a problem that requires urgent action. The measures adopted by the government do not go far enough. Officials are moving slowly when they should be acting decisively and swiftly. Rules are weak and poorly enforced and proposed laws remain at a rudimentary stage.

12 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Expensive offerings a grave problem

Inflationary pressures gripped grave-sweepers during the Ching Ming Festival last week. Offerings were getting so expensive the ancestors might turn in their graves if they knew, one grave sweeper complained.

9 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

Ching Ming festival, once branded superstition, is revived as holiday

The mainland observes the Ching Ming festival, or grave-sweeping day, today as a public holiday for the first time in its modern history.

The central government decided to cut back the week-long May Day break in November and make national holidays out of three traditional festivals. The others are the Dragon Boat festival in June and the Mid-Autumn Festival in September.

4 Apr 2008 - 12:00am


English is something to sing about

I suggest using popular songs as a tool to improve your English and your vocabulary. There are a lot of new words to be learnt by listening to the lyrics of songs.

Also, singing a song in English out aloud can help you speak English smoothly and fluently.

4 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Devoted families go to great heights to honour dead

The fifth-hottest Ching Ming fails to deter crowds

Hundreds of thousands of grave sweepers trudged up hillsides in unseasonal heat yesterday to pay respect to their ancestors over the Ching Ming Festival.

6 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Showing respect

We wake up at 8am, take a two-hour bus ride to the New Territories and then walk for another hour to the cemetery. We elbow our way through the crowds of people shrouded in clouds of smoke.

We reach the wall of rectangular boxes which contain our deceased relatives' ashes. My aunt puts down some bowls of rice, cups of wine and roasted meat on a table nearby.

11 Apr 2004 - 12:00am

Grave problem for police as crowds throng cemetery

SCMP, April 6, 2001: Grave sweepers in Tseung Kwan O yesterday criticised police crowd arrangements for the Ching Ming festival after they had to queue for up to two hours before being able to walk to their ancestors' graves.

8 Apr 2002 - 12:00am