Archive for the ‘Cheng Beng’ Tag

Cheng Beng ( Session 2 ) on Thursday, 28th March, 2019 to Beow Heong Lim Temple, Ayer Itam, Penang to pray to my paternal Grandmother, my maternal Grandfather & Grandmother and my late Father.   Leave a comment


 

Cheng Beng Session 2 on Thursday, 28th March, 2019 to Beow Heong Lim Temple, Ayer Itam, Penang to pray to my paternal Grandmother, my maternal Grandfather & Grandmother and my late Father.

 

The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors’ Day), is a traditional Chinese festival observed by the Han Chinese and the Chitty of Indonesia,Malaysia and Singapore. It falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese  lunar isolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings. Offerings would typically include traditional food dishes, and the burning of joss sticks and joss paper. The holiday recognizes the traditional reverence of one’s ancestors in Chinese culture.

The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008. In Taiwan, the public holiday was in the past observed on 5 April to honor the death of Chiang Kai-shek on that day in 1975, but with Chiang’s popularity waning, this convention is not being observed. A similar holiday is observed in the Ryukyu Islands, called Shīmī in the local language.

In mainland China, the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous riceand Chinese mugwort or barley grass. A similar confection called caozaiguo or shuchuguo, made with Jersey cudweed, is consumed in Taiwan.

 

Cheng Beng on Thursday, 28th March, 2019 to my Grandfather, Granduncle, and my late wife at Wat Chaiya Manggalaram, Pulau Tikus, Penang   Leave a comment


Cheng Beng on Thursday, 28th March, 2019 to my Grandfather, Granduncle, and my late wife at Wat Chaiya Manggalaram, Pulau Tikus, Penang

The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors’ Day),[2][3] is a traditional Chinese festival observed by the Han Chinese and the Chitty of Indonesia,Malaysia and Singapore. It falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolarcalendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year.[4][5][6] During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings. Offerings would typically include traditional food dishes, and the burning of joss sticks and joss paper. The holiday recognizes the traditional reverence of one’s ancestors in Chinese culture.

The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008. In Taiwan, the public holiday was in the past observed on 5 April to honor the death of Chiang Kai-shek on that day in 1975, but with Chiang’s popularity waning, this convention is not being observed. A similar holiday is observed in the Ryukyu Islands, called Shīmī in the local language.

In mainland China, the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous riceand Chinese mugwort or barley grass. A similar confection called caozaiguo or shuchuguo, made with Jersey cudweed, is consumed in Taiwan.

 

Cheng Beng for my late wife   4 comments


Cheng Beng

Niche of my paternal Grandfather, the late Lim Chong Poh who passed away in th 1930’s thus no photograph as yet until I find one.

Cheng Beng for my late wife

We had a Cheng Beng prayers for my late wife, Saw Ai, my paternal grandfather – Lim Chong Poh and grand-uncle – Lim Chong Pin, at the niches of Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple, Burmah Lane, Penang. my future niche for my ashes is there beside my wife when I “kick the bucket” (pass away) in future. Life is uncertain but death is certain, as the Buddha said. We chose a week day ie Wednesday, March 30, 2016 as there shall be lesser devotees.

The prayers went smoothly with my mother and family members; and ended with burning of joss papers – a old traditional Taoist practice that is difficult to forego even as Buddhists.

SP Lim

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Cheng Beng

Our 2016 Cheng Beng or Tomb Sweeping Prayers to my late Wife, Grandfather and grand-uncle in Penang.


I have to upload this post first as my internet is extremely slow and unstable.

SP Lim
ASA Grandpa ChengBeng 039

Local Cheng Beng or Qingming ( Tomb Sweeping Festival ) in Penang   3 comments


Cheng Beng (in Hokkien) or Qingming (in Mandarin)

The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day.

Qingming has been regularly observed as a statutory public holiday in China. In Taiwan, the public holiday is now always observed on 5 April to honor the death of Chiang Kai-shek on that day in 1975. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008.

In the mainland, the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous rice and barley grass. In Taiwan, the similar confection is known as caozaiguo or shuchuguo.

A similar holiday is observed in the Ryukyu Islands, called Shīmī in the local language.

Despite having no official status, the overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asian nations, such as those in Singapore and Malaysia, take this festival seriously and observe its traditions faithfully. Some Qingming rituals and ancestral veneration decorum observed by the oversea Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore can be dated back to Ming and Qing dynasties, as the oversea communities were not affected by the Cultural Revolution in Mainland China. Qingming in Malaysia is an elaborate family function or a clan feast (usually organized by the respective clan association) to commemorate and honour recently deceased relatives at their grave sites and distant ancestors from China at home altars, clan temples or makeshift altars in Buddhist or Taoist temples. For the oversea Chinese community, the Qingming festival is very much a family celebration and, at the same time, a family obligation. They see this festival as a time of reflection and to honour and give thanks to their forefathers. Overseas Chinese normally visit the graves of their recently deceased relatives on the nearest weekend to the actual date. According to the ancient custom, grave site veneration is only feasible ten days before and after the Qingming Festival. If the visit is not on the actual date, normally veneration before Qingming is encouraged.

The Qingming Festival in Malaysia and Singapore normally starts early in the morning by paying respect to distant ancestors from China at home altars. This is followed by visiting the graves of close relatives in the country. Some follow the concept of filial piety to the extent of visiting the graves of their ancestors in mainland China. Traditionally, the family will burn spirit money and paper replicas of material goods such as cars, homes, phones and paper servants. In Chinese culture, it is believed that people still need all of those things in the afterlife. Then family members take turns to kowtow three to nine times (depending on the family adherence to traditional values) before the tomb of the ancestors. The Kowtowing ritual in front of the grave is performed in the order of patriarchal seniority within the family. After the ancestor worship at the grave site, the whole family or the whole clan feast on the food and drink they brought for the worship either at the site or in nearby gardens in the memorial park, signifying family reunion with the ancestors. Another ritual related to the festival is the cockfight, as well as being available within that historic and cultural context at Kaifeng Millennium City Park (Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden).

Inserted by SP Lim from Wikipedia.

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Weekend Three: Hone Your Eye

Practised a few assignments as proposed by Josh R. and Team on the following:-

(1) Observe and capture an entire scene, but also zoom in within it. Stick to architecture if you’d like: capture the size of a building, but get close to record its details. Or, choose something different — a farmer’s market, a festival — and take establishing shots as well as smaller moments within the scene.

Tried all sorts of shots with different but at very low angle close to the ground I find great difficulty as a senior citizen as my legs cannot bend too much.

(2) Whatever you shoot, pay attention to what’s along the borders — practice in-camera cropping and train your eye to edit in your viewfinder or screen.

Always practised these technique automatically if framing and composition are all right.

(3) As you prepare a post with a gallery, try a different gallery type. If you published a Thumbnail Grid gallery last weekend, try a Tiled Mosaic or Square Tiles. Or, never published a gallery of Circles? Do that instead!

Here I tried the Thumbnail Grid gallery with odd numbers of photographs, it should be better with even numbers of shots. Square Tiles are nice but some portions of the photographs were cropped off. Also tried Tiled Column gallery and found it to be satisfactory.

There are several more albums that shall be posted over the week or two.

SP Lim
Still under training by Photo 101.

Blogging U.

Cheng Beng Prayers at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple, Penang   Leave a comment


Cheng Beng Prayers at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple, Penang.

Final duty of burning the joss paper and “gifts”.

From Wikipedia:-
Ancestor veneration (Chinese: 敬祖; pinyin: jìngzǔ) in Chinese culture and ethnic religion is the practice of living family members and Chinese kins to pay honour and respect (Chinese: 拜拜; pinyin: bàibài) to their progenitors and ancestors. Emphasised in Confucian philosophy, paying respect to one’s ancestors is an aspect of filial piety (Chinese: 孝; pinyin: xiào) and is deeply rooted in Chinese culture; it is believed that the relationship and obligations of children toward their parents remains intact even after death.
Each Chinese kin maintains its own network of ancestral temples, where the godly progenitors and other ancestors of the lineage are worshipped. At these temples, ceremonies can be performed either by elders of the lineage, Taoist clergy, or, more rarely, Buddhist monks. Thus, rituals for ancestral worship are found in the practices of both Taoism and Chinese Buddhism.

Continued obeisance
After the funeral, families often install an ancestral tablet at a household altar alongside other deceased ancestors. This act symbolically unifies the ancestors and honors the family lineage. Incense is lit before the altar daily, significant announcements are made before them, and offerings such as favorite foods, beverages, and spirit money are given bi-monthly and on special occasions, such as Qingming Festival (or Cheng Beng in Hokkien in my blog) and Ghost Festival.
Prayer was usually performed at the household altar in a separate room containing the po of their ancestors. The eldest male would speak to the altar on a regular basis. In some belief systems where special powers are ascribed to the deceased, he may supplicate the spirit to bless the family.

SP Lim

Getting ready for Cheng Beng Prayers to the Departed   Leave a comment


Ready and completed the Cheng Beng Prayers or Qingming for my Grandfather and Granduncle who passed away in the 1930’s and my late wife – a special array of goodies for her before GST.
Internet is extremely unstable now. To continue tomorrow!


the goods and services tax (GST)
Ready and completed the Cheng Beng Prayers on 30.03.2015, for my Grandfather and Granduncle who passed away in the late 1930’s and my late wife – a special array of goodies for her before GST (the new Goods and Services Tax – GST) of 6%. to be implemented on April Fools’ Day 2015. Her Handbags were “given” last year with the car with driver, house with servants, etc. Consolation is indeed soothing and satisfying for my solace and memories, even I was laughing earlier in life of these paraphernalia of creativity for business of the departed. As local, we are practising Buddhist with a background of Taoist beliefs from young age. Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

The departed paraphernalia is so wide a range of “standard luxury items” ranging from the staple of a paper house – a bungalow, a paper Mercedes Benz-shaped car complete with driver, joss paper of gold and silver with Hell Notes just in case. Lately, there is sudden expansion of luxurious consumer goods for “Self Actualism” in keeping with modern times and “the Hierarchy of Needs in the Underworld of the Departed” as done creatively by the businessmen. Symbolic stereo-typed Paper dresses, trousers, and shoes were transformed into modern-designed branded sophisticated fashion-ware. Designer-made Handbags and fashion accessories, Cosmetics were thrown in as the extended range for good measure. Nowadays, necessary items shall include paper handphones, laptops, iPods, Passports, Credit Cards, Bank Cheque Books for issuance of cheques, as the list goes on in future. We have a great life and the departed should equally partake together with our lives of joy and luxury in our modern times. Yes, make more joy and happiness instead of depressing wars of depressing sadness and suffering. Perhaps, the Underworld or Heaven do need a “population growth or expansion” to equate to our expanding living Human population.
Back to the hippies’ slogan of ” Make Love Not War “ during our younger days of the Baby Boomers.
SP Lim

Cheng Beng of our beloved departed ones   Leave a comment



Cheng Beng of our beloved departed ones was on Tuesday, 1 April, 2014. No April Fool’s joke. We prayed to my paternal grandmother who passed away on the year when I took my MCE / Senior Cambridge Examinations in 1968 and my late father Lim Wooi Boon. We, made up of my mother, sister and brother, went to Beow Heong Lim Temple Columbarium where the niches of the urn with ashese of our beloved were kept and worshipped. The prayers’ ceremony went on smoothly and ended at lunch-time as my sister has to go back to Petaling Jaya in the afternoon.

SP Lim

My Grandfather’s Story Part 2   1 comment


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Where was I yesterday – which part of the story I had left off? Ohh… the “picking the gold” ceremony, so the next question is “what is this ceremony all about” from an uninitiated. This is a religious Taoist-originated ritual where one can dig the grave of a dearly departed and “transfer” the remains to another location. In our case, the ritual will involve basically about 6 steps. Firstly, seek the correct undertaker to do the task properly followed by making an official Police report of the purpose of digging up the grave and transfer of remains to another location. Thirdly, the ceremony proper with prayers before the actual digging starts and then the “picking of the gold” that is the actual act of picking of the remains of the skeleton. The remains are then placed into a small coffin with usual joss papers and it is to be transported to the crematorium for cremation. Putting the cremated remains into a urn and the carrying of the urn to the location in Penang, in our case at Wat Chaiyamangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple. These urns are to be put into the niches and on a selected day, a black merble plaque shall be placed over these niches.
During the Qing Ming or Cheng Beng, I collected two telephone contacts and passed to my mother. She contacted a funeral contractor or undertaker by the name of Ah Lam. From there, the “project” got under way and then within a period of 1 month or so, the cycle of events described above of the “Picking the Gold” ceremony was successfully completed.
On 9th of May, 2012 my mother, Mdm Tea Siew Yam and myself set out to Sungai Patani or Petani main town centre. There, we met up with Ah Lam for the main purpose of making a Police Report about the intention of digging up the two graves of my grandfather and granduncle.My mother made the Police Report and we went over to the Sungai Petani Chinese Association which manages the graveyard. A monetary deposit of RM2,000.00 per grave is to be made to ensure that after the digging of these graves, the area is levelled and kept clean of any cement remnants of the pre-existing graves.The actual cost agreed with the undertaker was at RM4,000.00 per deceased thus making a total cost of RM8,000.00 for the two graves. After making the cash deposits with the Association we drove to the Sungai Patani Thai Buddhist Temple to purchase two yellow porcelain urns from Thailand to store the remains and ashes of our Grandfather and Granduncle after the anticipated cremation. After the paperwork and purchase of the urns were completed, we left for Penang and went straight to Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple. This is the time to purchase the niches for two of the deceased. The cost was RM4,500.00 per niche and it reminded me sadly of the task when I had to purchase for my dear departed wife in 2010. I did purchase one niche for myself too and my Grandfather’s niche shall be directly above mine.

To be continued to Part 3
Photographs tomorrow are NOT for the faint-hearted. Be forewarned.

SP Lim

I do not like to write – I like to have written. — Gloria Steinem

Life’s journey of my grandfather whom I never meet – Part 1   Leave a comment


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It is usually the Cheng Beng or Qing Ming ( in Romanized Chinese ) season, I get to know the existence of my grandfather, Lim Chong Poh for whom I was told, died at a young age in Sungai Patani, Kedah. We would set out early in the morning at sometimes 5.30 am for an hour’s journey to the northern town as our family now stays in George Town, Penang to conduct the Cheng Beng’s prayers. His grave was at Sungai Pasir, a small village near to busy township of Sungai Patani. This was the town beside the river which my grandfather had carefully chosen to be his home and base to seek his livelihood, after leaving Vietnam. At an early age, he had left China to stay with his aunt in Vietnam as he is an orphan. He has an older brother, Lim Chong Pin so my granduncle. From oral narration from my father, mother. uncles and aunties; my grandfather opened up a Chinese Druggist shop beside a General Merchandise shop of his aunty’s along the main street of Sungai Patani town in 1930’s. Actually this was confirmed by stories of the railway track that ran behind these shophouses and some passengers would actually climb down the slow-moving train and snapped off a few canes of the groves of sugar canes that were planted behind these shophouses and boarded back the locomotives to the annoyance of my relatives. The greatest weakness of my paternal grandfather was his undying passion for gambling. According to my uncle, as the jongker or bookie himself, he could easily lose the amount of dollars that can buy a big house at that period of time. These were big sum of money at that time when foodstuff can be bought easily from a quarter cent to half a cent. From this uncontrolled compulsion and excessive gambling, he met an early untimely death but at what age, we were never told but his date of his untimely death was recorded as 1st. October, 1936. His elder brother Lim Chong Pin followed suit with his untimely death 10th April. 1940 owing to drinking problems. So, fast forward to the present time of May, 2012, we have the graves located at Sungai Patani ( Kawasan Padang Tembusu ) and the family members staying in Penang. With the disinterest of the newer and younger generation of family members, a need is thus created to have a “pick the gold” ceremony soonest.

To be continued to Part Two.

SP Lim

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. — Jules Renard

Early Cheng Beng prayers for my late wife   Leave a comment


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I held an early Cheng Beng or Qing Ming Prayers for my late wife this morning at the niche at Wat Chaiyamanggalaram Buddhist Temple. As Buddhist, one did not hold strongly to the Chinese Lunar dates and I was right as there were also a few groups of fellow Buddhists offering prayers earlier than me on this morning. I offered her favourite chicken rice with her favourite breast meat and her sugarless local coffee or kopi-o. However, I burnt some joss papers just in case she “needed” this. It had been 27-plus months of her untimely demise.

SP Lim

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. — Jules Renard

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