As well as being Easter Sunday, today is also the Chinese festival of QingMingJie, where families traditionally visit the graves of their ancestors to tidy them and leave gifts of fruit, flowers and incense. Ava and I headed for the cemetry where her great-aunt is buried a couple of days early to avoid the crowds. Ava was raised by her great-aunt, calling her "grandma" to this day, and holds her in great affection. She died just as we started going out together, so I never really met her, although I attended her funeral.
It took us 45 minutes to drive to the cemetery on a lovely sunny day, with a cooling breeze. It's a strange place, up on a hillside, with thousands of small grave sites, all very well-kept and with fantastic views down onto a lake and temple. There is piped music everywhere you walk and an odd mix of quietness and noisy family groups sharing picnics near the gravesides. Ava spent some time at her great-aunt's gravestone before visiting a small, nearby temple to burn some fake money and light some incense.
Leave a Reply.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
Past blog entries