Literally translated as “clear” and “bright”, Qingming falls on the 15th day after the spring equinox and marks the arrival of spring when the weather is clear and bright. It is an important festival for families to come together to remember their deceased loved ones.
Screen Capture of Kaki Says: Qingming Festival
First brought over by early Chinese settlers, Qingming continues to be observed in Singapore and still closely resembles the practices in China. An important custom would be saomu 扫墓, or tomb-sweeping, where families tidy up the graves of their loved ones. In Singapore where there are fewer burial grounds, this practice has evolved to include cleaning the columbarium niches where ashes of ancestors are kept.
To encourage a better appreciation of our distinctive Chinese Singaporean culture, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre has launched the following programmes to spotlight the customs and traditions practised during Qingming Festival:
Did you know? One story about the origins of Qingming Festival tells of a man named Jie Zitui who was burnt to death, and his connection to the Cold Food Festival (Han Shi Festival or 寒食节) which takes place a day before Qingming. Learn more about this lesser-known story and other fun facts behind this festival with Kaki in this animated video.
● Keeping Traditions Alive: We Are Family
Supported by the Genealogy Society Singapore
Available from 1 April 2021
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube
How is Qingming Festival related to our roots? Follow Shin Liat and Jack from the Genealogy Society Singapore, as they shed light on what the festival means to them and how various dialect groups in Singapore honour their ancestors through different practices. Through conversations between these fathers and their children, discover the importance of passing down cultural values to the next generation.
● SINGAPO人: Discovering Chinese Singaporean Culture
Open from 2pm – 8pm on Monday, and from 10am – 8pm, Tuesday to Sunday
*Extended opening hours until 9pm till 28 March 2021
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Level 2 (1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906)
Roast duck, roast pork, and roast chicken – collectively known as “sansheng 三牲” or three treasures, these dishes are often used as food offerings during the Qingming Festival.
Find out more about these time-honoured practices at the Centre’s SINGAPO人 exhibition, which highlights Chinese Singaporean culture through food, language and festivals. Learn how Chinese culture in Singapore has evolved in a way quite unlike other communities around the world. Come discover (and rediscover) what it means to be a ‘Chinese Singapo人’ today.
For more information, please visit here.
It’s the weekend and are you looking for things / activities to do? Check out our weekly roundup of Things To Do This Weekend In Singapore.
For other upcoming events, visit Events in Singapore.
* * * * *
Stay in touch! Subscribe to our Telegram here for our latest updates.
Like what you see here? Get parenting tips and stories straight to your inbox! Join our mailing list here.