qing ming 清明 2011

清明时节雨纷纷,
路上行人欲断魂。
借问酒家何处有?
牧童遥指杏花村。

Remembered the 1st time was in 2009, I wasn’t a Chan yet. My mother, a traditional one, reminded me umpteenth time that I wasn’t supposed to go to the graveyard with Stevie. And not to pray to their ancestors with any joss sticks offered. She was chanting away that it would be a taboo.

Anyway, I did everything she said I wasn’t supposed to. Naughty me.

Time flies.

This is the 3rd year I am celebrating Qing Ming with Steve and family. A little sad though, my parents decided to go visit grandma’a grave this Sunday too. It will be the 1st time I would be absent for my family’s side for Qing Ming. I am sad that I wasn’t told or I would have suggested my mom to push it to the next week.

I won’t sweat the small stuff. A reminder.

Qing Ming is a festival that reminds us on paying respect to family members that have passed on. It teaches family value system and how we put our family above ourselves.

Waking earlier than usual on a Sunday morning is pretty tough for everyone. But this is one Sunday, we all cannot negotiate. Momsie woke up at 5.30 am, got most of the prayer stuff ready. Even had time to make some pink rice cupcakes 發糕.

There isn’t very much for us juniors to fuss about, except getting ready and be on time.

Sun block lotions, wide brimmed hats, long sleeved blouses and umbrellas are “must” items as far as the female fraternity is concerned. I totally forgot my gears and had to borrow hubby’s Yankee baseball cap and Daiso‘s 大嫂 pretty retro printed long sleeved blouse.

I feel 16 again.

“So clean!”, that is the first exclamation from everyone. We are overjoyed and looks like a breezy spring cleaning. Being the official photographer has its perks and I love the part whereby I need not lift my fingers to do much. Just an occasional favour or two, especially from hubby to scratch his back or find his ciggy. Otherwise, I am a happy, snappy photographer.

Everything is quite a routine. Everyone knows what he or she is supposed to do.

Some enjoy watching and cracking a joke, here and there.

Margaux and Tic Toc love to find the right sized paper weight.

Szi Hao, the eldest great grandchild in the backdrop.

Agnes enjoying the calm and shade under momsie’s big straw hat.Forever groovy and charming, even on a Qing Ming morning at Malim Chinese Cemetery.

We usually have 2 debates on this Qing Ming day.

One, should we continue to do “open burning” and observe such unfriendly gifts to the dead.

Two, where shall we have breakfast.

Momsie is the busiest person of the day. She has to make a year long report to grandpa and grandma on the progress of the Chans. She has plenty of great news for them except that Mitch and Sol are unable to attend because they are down with a terrible flu.

All these food offered, the glutinous rice dumplings, red bean paste steamed buns and pink rice cup cakes are made by momsie. Look out for my posting on the buns.

My momsie, the dutiful daughter-in-law.

Like the old saying, “when one has a good daugther-in-law, your alter will never be smokeless”.

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