More pay respects during Qing Ming

Qing Ming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, falls on either April 4 or 5 every year.

This year, it fell on April 5, but some people perform the rituals ten days before and after the actual day.

It is traditionally observed on the 106th day after the winter solstice, calculated according to the lunar calendar.

According to a guidebook published by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations in 1989, Qing Ming originated 2,500 years ago as a spring festival.

Chinese all over Singapore visit the cemeteries or columbariums during the festival. They clean up the graveyard, repaint the tombstones, and burn joss sticks. Candles are also lit, and gifts and food are offered to the dead.

While columbariums and most of the temples do not keep track of visitor numbers and as such were unable to provide figures, a spokesman for San Qing Gong temple in Bedok North observed that there has been an increase in numbers over the past few years.