Easter is here and this year the Ching Ming Festival falls on the same day as Easter Sunday. These two holidays is quite different and have little in common. But what is the difference between these holidays? Why do we celebrate them and what is the different traditions related to them? Lets us explain!
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. The holiday last over many days and the first most important day is Palm Sunday which was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and was celebrated. The next important day is Maundy Thursday which is also known as the last supper, where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified on the cross.
There is many different traditions during Easter, however the most known is the egg hunt and the easter bunny. Easter is a holiday filled with pastel colours, flowers and cute bunnies. All these things have a special meaning and is not a part of easter by coincidence. As Easter is celebrating the fall and rise of Jesus, easter is filled with symbols representing life, brightness and fertility.
Easter eggs have been a part of the easter holiday for centuries. They are used as gifts, decorations and to play with during the holiday. The use of eggs originates from the thought of them representing new life and rebirth. During easter its a normal tradition to paint the eggshell with different colours and patterns. It is said that this originated from the tradition of painting or boiling the eggs red, the colour symbolising blood and Jesus’s blood. The blood represent the day of Long Friday. There is also some reason behind the Easter Bunny, some say this is a symbol fertility. This is because the easter holiday celebrates new life. Another thing that the easter bunny can symbolise is the moon, as the dates of the easter holiday depends on the moon.
The other festival that is during the easter holiday this year is the Ching Ming Festival. Also know as the tomb sweeping day. On this day families will go to their ancestors to sweep the tomb, remove old and wild flowers and exchange with new colourful and fresh flowers. They will also burn incense and pray bow three times in front of the tomb. It is also normal to burn paper, which before had some prayers on but in modern times the paper can be a replica of houses, luxury items or food, anything basically, so the ancestors will have a comfortable life in the afterlife. Some will also offer food to the ancestors and will display food in front of the tomb. This day is usually combined with a hike, as many of the cemeteries is in the hillside. Back in the days it was the oldest son that had the responsibility for arranging the tomb sweeping, however today this is not as normal. Some old tradition say that you should not eat hot food the day before the Ching Ming Festival, however this tradition have changed over the years and some people now eat cold food on the day of Ching Ming.
The festival originates way back in time. The tradition started as extravagant ceremonies by emperors and wealthy officials that wanted to honour their ancestors. They honoured them to beg for blessings for the country to have peace, get good harvest and prosperity. However later on it was declared that this type of honouring should only happen once a year. It therefor became a popular day to gather family, both among the royalty and normal families.
This means that our holiday will be long this year, combining the Ching Ming and the Easter holiday. We hope you enjoy both and have a great time with family and friends!