China - Holidays

Tomb Sweeping Holiday
Tomb sweeping is where you go to the family tomb/crypt and spring clean. They burn money so that their dead can have it. Why do the dead need it? To buy new things, of course! It’s the only way dead people can get money, I think. They live underground, Helena tells us.
In the past, they used to burn actual money. This isn’t very good for the government. How would they keep track of how much currency is still out there? How much does printing more cost the country? Instead, they now have fake money that you can buy and burn for the dead. There: an economically sound way of sending money to the dead.
Linda said she doesn’t believe in the practice, but did it just in case. Playing it safe for relatively cheap, plus following rituals can be fun and bring people together. Helena said she believes that the money does go to the dead, but doesn’t recognize many of the faux pas or rituals.
What faux pas? If you see someone burning money, pretend you don’t see it. Don’t take pictures, ignore them altogether. If you see a pile of ashes, don’t step on it. People are supposed to do this in private, but it’s difficult with such high population density and the risk of fires.

Dragonboat Festival
I didn’t explain dragon boat. Back when China was all split up into kingdoms, there was this guy who was so loyal to his king that he refused to serve any other. When that king died or otherwise defeated, he refused to serve the new head of state and decided to kill himself by tying something to his feet and jumping off a bridge. 
Because people so admired his dedication to their former king, they threw in rice to.. uh.. stop the fish from eating his body. The fish, of course, would eventually get around to it, but busied themselves temporarily with these strange white morsels. 
What does this have to do with Dragons and boats? I have absolutely no idea, but that’s the reason they eat these rise things called zongzi, which are really sticky rice filled with various things, the most common being dates, all wrapped up in seaweed and boiled. The south of China likes salty, meat/egg filled ones, while the north likes sweeter ones. If you get the chance, actively avoid what the south likes, and stick to what the north likes. Overall, worth a try, but not something I would ever seek out.

No comments:

Post a Comment