Honouring Ancestors at the Ching Ming Festival

08 April 2021
incense di zhang wang temple burning ching ming

On Sunday 4 April, SMCT was proud to host celebrations as part of this year’s Ching Ming Festival, also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day. The Festival is an ancient Chinese holiday about celebrating life and honouring ancestors, and involves offering food and cleaning the resting place of loved ones to pay respects. It is also traditionally associated with spring, and so it is also a time to take part in family outings to promote happiness and good fortune.

As part of the festival, we were fortunate to host a Transfer of Merits to Ancestors ceremony at the Di Zhang Wang Temple at Springvale Botanical Cemetery. The ceremony was performed by The Bright Moon Buddhist Society, a group of devout Buddhists in Springvale and one of our local community partners.

ching ming buddhist ceremony transfer merits ancestors
The Transfer of Merits to Ancestors Ceremony
transfer merits ancestors ceremony ching ming monk buddhist
ching ming procession volunteers festival
A procession of volunteers follow the visiting monk as part of the Transfer of Merits to Ancestors ceremony.

Special attention is paid to the life-size statue of Buddha in the Di Zhang Wang Temple, which receives its own offerings. The statue looks out over the burial sites and was designed with Feng Shui principles in mind.

di zhang wang temple buddha golden feng shui monk
beam light buddha temple monk

Visitors bring along flowers, incense, and food offerings to their ancestors, and spend time cleaning the burial sites to pay their respects. The Ching Ming Festival is a time for family activities, particularly outdoor gatherings to celebrate the arrival of spring.

busy ching ming festival graves cleaning offering
cleaning graves family tradition spring ching ming

After a morning of celebration and ceremony, many visitors made their way to Café Vita et flores, which adjusted the menu for the festivities to feature delicious Asian-inspired cuisine.

cafe vita et flores asian inspired
asian inspired menu cafe
bowl salad asian inspired menu cafe

The Ching Ming Festival is a special occasion for both the honouring of those who have come before and a celebration of life, happiness, and fortune.

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