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Honouring loved ones during Qing Ming

31 March 2022
This article originally appeared on Melbourne Today.


清明节佳节寄哀思,墨尔本华人不忘传统,齐聚此地宣传文化祭奠先人


Qing Ming is one of the twenty-four solar terms in the traditional Chinese calendar. In China, everyone gathers together to sweep the graves and cherish the memories of their loved ones come lush, lunar March. Not only that, Chinese people living as far away as Australia will commemorate their ancestors and cherish traditions in their own way every year at Qing Ming.

清明,二十四节气之一
在国内,每当农历三月莺飞草长
大家都会聚在一起踏青扫墓、缅怀亲人
不仅如此,远在澳洲的华人们
每年清明节,
都会通过自己的方式纪念古人缅怀传统

For many Chinese, due to long-term settlement overseas, the language and traditional customs gradually become unfamiliar. Therefore, whenever Qing Ming comes, ancestor worship becomes even more of a "root-seeking" educational experience to return to traditional culture.

对于众多华人来说,由于长期定居海外,语言和传统习惯逐渐生疏,因此,每当清明节来临,祭祖便成为一次回归传统文化的“寻根”教育。

"For those of us who live overseas, such an opportunity is rare. It is the tradition of our community to pay homage to our ancestors and cherish the memory of our martyrs." An anonymous reader said that every year on Qing Ming, if there is a chance, he will go home to his deceased relatives to burn incense, place a fruit plate at the grave, and pray to ancestors.

“对我们这些身居海外的华人来说,这样的机会很难得。祭奠祖先,缅怀先烈,是我们中华民族的传统。” 他表示,每年清明节如果有机会他都会回家给逝去的亲人上香,摆上果盘,祭拜先祖。

However just recently, the Chinese government has tightened its international travel policy and many return flights from Australia have been interrupted. Therefore, most people have changed their Qing Ming plans and can only honour ancestors through "cloud sweeping tombs" and "relatives and friends sweeping on their behalf".

然而,就在近期,中国政府又缩紧国际旅行政策,多个澳洲归国航班熔断。因此,大多数华人都改变了自己的清明祭扫计划,很多人只能通过“云扫墓”、“亲朋代扫”来缅怀古人。

Many people believe that the method of honouring is not the most important thing during Qing Ming. They would much rather gather at a peaceful location with their families so they can reminisce about the past and commemorate the deceased.

对于清明期间该如何祭祀,很多的华人认为,形式不是最重要的,他们更希望找到一方净土,可以让自己和家人一起,追思过去、纪念逝者。

2022 Qing Ming is nearly here. Springvale Botanical Cemetery in Melbourne has the perfect, peaceful location for you to honour and pay respect to your ancestors in the Autumn breeze.

2022清明就要到来,
墨尔本的Springvale有这样一片净土
让远在异国他乡的你
可以在秋日的微风中怀念已逝亲人
让内心获得一份寄托!

About Springvale Botanical Cemetery Springvale长青墓园

The award-winning Springvale Botanical Cemetery is located in Melbourne’s Southeast. Boasting luscious green, calm surroundings, Springvale Botanical Cemetery offers a reflective space to honour and respect souls who have passed.

Springvale长青墓园坐落于墨尔本东南区,这里绿树成荫,风水考究,环境优美,是缅怀逝者,祭奠生命的首选地。

This world-class cemetery is made up of 169 hectares of landscaped gardens and features three beautiful locations for rest that have been designed with the Chinese community in mind.

Springvale长青墓园的景观花园占地总面积达169公顷,并根据华人文化特色,精心设计打造三座环境优雅、祥和的高档陵园。

Song He Yuan is a picturesque Chinese garden setting designed under Feng Shui principles. With blossoms, grassy hills and botanicals, it is a contemplative place to reflect and remember loved ones.

松鹤园以传统中式庭园风格为主,和风静雅,风水考究。鲜花锦簇、小丘绿草,是回忆过去,纪念亲人的私密空间。

New Song He Yuan provides a prestigious resting place, characterised by architecturally-inspired design and contemporary cultural references.

松鹤新园贵气散发,建筑设计极具现代感,气势恢宏,反映当代文化特色。

Lotus Garden is a place of calm contemplation, where prestigious monumental graves are seamlessly complemented by a backdrop of vibrant green. With lush grass and tranquil water, this beautiful, exclusive setting is suitable for those wishing to rest close to nature.

莲花园静谧和谐,是沉思独处的秘境。墓碑与大自然融为一体,藏身葱郁的绿草和平静的小溪之间,适合喜欢在大自然休憩安息的人士。

Find out more about Song He Yuan, New Song He Yuan and Lotus garden here.

欲了解松鹤园、松鹤新园、莲花园的详情,请点击这里

Tomb Sweeping Activities 扫墓活动

Qing Ming is of great importance to Australia's Springvale Botanical Cemetery, where people come to sweep tombs and to worship and remember their ancestors. This year's Qing Ming is on April 5, Springvale Botanical Cemetery will hold various memorial ceremonies to promote and encourage the diversity of the Australian Chinese community.

澳大利亚Springvale长青墓园对清明节十分重视,人们在这里扫墓祭祀、缅怀祖先。今年的清明节在4月5日,Springvale长青墓园会举行各类缅怀纪念仪式,促进并鼓励澳大利亚华人社区的多元化。

During Qing Ming in previous years, the community will not only commemorate and show respect to ancestors by visiting their graves, offering food, tea or wine, burning incense, burning or offering joss paper (representing money) but also by sweeping the tombs, removing weeds, and adding fresh soil to the graves. Willow branches, flowers, or plastic plants may also be inserted on the tomb.

往年清明期间,人们除了会给来到亲人的墓碑前纪念先祖,还会通过除草扫墓、戴柳插柳、献花添土以及供奉茶、酒、食物等祭物、烧纸钱香烛等仪式来祭祀。

In fact, not only Chinese culture, but also other traditional cultures around the world have the custom of praying for the safety of deceased loved ones and hoping to receive blessings for the family. However, the custom has been greatly simplified in modern times, especially in Australia, because many Chinese immigrants often do not know whether these traditional customs can be implemented in Australia.

其实不只是华人文化,世界各地的传统文化都有为逝去的亲人祈祷平安,并希望获得对家人的祝福的习俗。进入当代社会后,许多习俗被极大的简化,尤其在澳大利亚,因为我们很多华裔的移民很多时候并不知道我们的传统习俗究竟能不能在澳洲操作执行。

In Springvale Botanical Cemetery, you are encouraged and supported to practice these important rituals as we acknowledge and respect these cultural differences.

Springvale长青墓园重视并尊重各种不同的文化习俗,并大力支持我们广大的华人群体可以毫无忧虑的重新拾起这些重要的民俗文化并将其在澳洲发扬光大。

Ahead of Qing Ming this year, Springvale Botanical Cemetery welcomes you to pay your respects and honour your loved ones. A selection of traditional paper offerings will be available for purchase over the weekend before Qing Ming, on 2nd and 3rd April to help honour your ancestors.

长青墓园欢迎您前来缅怀追思,祭祀亲人。为此,我们特别在清明节前的周末4月2日、3日准备了各类清明节传统祭物供选购。

Song He Yuan