The Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day.
The Qingming Festival is an opportunity for celebrants to remember and honor their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, and joss paper accessories to the ancestors.
2015 American Bodhi Center Ching-ming Ceremony
2013 Ching-ming Gratitude and Remembrance Dharma Assembly, Visitation of Buddha’s Sacred Relics, and Spring Outing
The assembly started at 10:00 in front of Bao’en Pagoda. Ven. Jan Hai, President of the Texas Buddhist Association, and Ven. Hung I, Abbot of the American Bodhi Center, led a recitation of Amitabha Sutra and merit dedication to ancestors.
Ven. Jan Hai explained the profound significance of Ching-ming Gratitude and Remembrance Dharma Assembly. Ven. Hung I told the amazing story of how he received the Buddha’s sacred relics many years ago.
The assembly was followed by the ceremony for transfer and re-enshrinement of the Buddha’s relics from Bao’en Pagoda to Meditation Hall. At the end of the ceremony, the venerables offered blessings for peace, good health, and auspiciousness.
After lunch, the visitors took a tour of the American Bodhi Center, including the organic garden. Many were delighted to take fresh fruits and vegetables home with them.