It is part of Chinese culture and tradition that every year on the first week of April they gather to visit the graves of their ancestors.How they show their respect varies but usually it means offering the ancestors food and other worldly requirements .The graves will normally be cleaned and the offerings made on the day of Ching Ming .Therein lies the beauty of Chinese culture , the day is fixed every year so that the people have time to prepare and ensure that they perform their filial duties.
On the day the descendants gather round the graves of the ancestors, burn joss sticks , burn " money " and other requirements like shoes , clothes , etc.
This is the Chinese way of remembering their ancestors and also their belief that in the afterworld they still need these materialistic things.Ching Ming is not only a day to remember your ancestors but also to remind us of where we came from and where our roots are .
There is also a belief that the men need not go to the in laws graves but the women must follow the men to their ancestors' graves,This seems odd to me as what will happen to those who only have daughters? We have only daughters .Does this mean that my daughters will not visit our graves when we are gone ? Does it mean that our remains will lie somewhere forgotten ? Can we expect our sons in laws to accompany our daughters to remember us ?
This is one of the traditional beliefs which has to be changed. I accompany my wife to visit her parents ' graves every year and I do not see anything wrong with it as I remember my in laws as good people and regard them as my own parents.
There is also the attitude of the so called Christians who refuse to light joss sticks or even partake of the offering which are placed as a token of offering to the ancestors.They say Christians dont light joss sticks or eat things which have been offered to the ancestors.What makes me livid is that some of these so called Christians dont even have the slightest knowledge abut the religion and dont have the brains to differentiate between tradition and religion.
Ching Ming is a Chinese tradition when the descendants gather to remember their ancestors and to make offerings to them .They do not pray to the ancestors but merely remember and honor them .