No gatherings at cemetery for Qing Ming this year

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By Emma Victoria

CHINESE families have been told not to perform any rituals at cemeteries for the Qing Ming festival, which falls on April 4, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, they can still write in to apply for permission from the police.

Sibu United Chinese Graveyard Association Chairman Teo Boon Siew said the extension of movement control order (MCO) to April 14 shows that the outbreak has not been contained, hence, he advised people to avoid gathering with other family members at the cemetery.

“I will advise them to switch to performing the rituals at home and don’t gather at the cemetery to clean graves and offer prayers and offerings,” he said as reported in Borneo Post.

“Personally, I do not see the need to follow such traditions strictly and blindly.

“Yes, it’s a tradition handed down from thousands of years but then, when the health of the people is at stake, it’s really not worth it,” he said.

However, Teo said he has no authority to stop people from going to the cemetery during the Qing Ming festival.

According to Teo, Sibu District Police Chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said families need to write in to the police if they wanted to visit the cemetery during Qing Ming.

They have to write in and indicate how many people are going as well as the date and location.

Qing Ming festival, or Chinese All Souls Day or Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a tradition among the Chinese community that has been observed for over 2,000 years where family members gather to pay respects to their departed ancestors.

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