Qingming Festival is also called Tomb Sweeping Day, the second of 24 solar terms on the traditional Chinese solar calendar. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day.
This is the day showing respects to ancestors, according to Northeast of Chinese custom, every year we visited my grandmother and great grandmother’s tomb, after thoroughly cleaning up, we offered the food and drink for them, i normally talked to them about things happened in my life in front of the gravestone.
My great grandmother had a profound impact in my early years, she spent more time with me than other family members throughout my childhood. At that time, my mother was busy, my mother’s mother was busier for running a printing business, most of Chinese kids at my generation ( i think the situation remain the same, and i tried not to believe because i am a girl) was taken care by grandparents.
As I recall, she didn’t know any words but a real good storyteller, main messages were about the children who’s going out without adult’s consent would be eaten by wolf or other monsters etc, she also cooked for me, I liked her very much, given those communication i had strong Shandong accent, my mother said teachers at kindergarten made lots of efforts to change it back.
She’s a woman with small feet. When she was young, millions of Chinese women bound their feet, and she was one of them, they used a long cloth to wrap her toes, seen as beautiful, often the only way to marry the rich, they called the feet like that as ‘three-inch golden lotuses’ or ‘San Cun Jin Lian’. ( She didn’t marry the rich though, lol.)
We were living together until I went to primary school. There’s a year, my grandmother had a terrible cold and caused her sudden heart attack, downfall of her printing business and two much pressure from family, she passed away at the day before Chinese New Year.That was my first year at junior school, my mother was busy for handling follow-up issues with my uncles, my great grandmother was back to my home again, I was feeling both sad and glad.
As the youngest grandchildren, my mother had no obligation to have her at home. I’m proud of her as she was so insist on it, such a kind woman. Part of the reasons because she took care of me well, and that was the chance to pay off her. That was the tradition of Chinese family, taking care of elder people being considered as treasured quality, she made decision to take on this responsibility, it was so rare for a Chinese career woman made this right balance between family and work, I always appreciate her sacrifice to this family.
Great grandmother was very old that time, hearing problem, failure of vision, deterioration of the memory, still a clear minded talker, but always forgot turning off the gas after cooking, therefore my dad never smoke at home. We were still getting well, but I was getting busy on endless examinations, not spent long time with her as I recall.
My family had worked so hard so that she had enjoyed her old age. She passed away while sleeping, died at 101 years old, that was a quiet summer.