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“What do you do to worship your ancestors?”

I visit the grave of my husband’s grandfather in the countryside of Jilin province.

05/04/2015

Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr

Author

It’s November, 2014. My husband, I and our baby son stay at gugu’s place in the countryside of Jilin province. One early morning, I, my husband, my father-in-law and my husband’s aunt visit the grave of my husband’s grandfather. Due to the Chinese belief that visiting a grave will bring bad luck to a baby, our son has to stay home with his grandmother. The grave is located on a little hill. We have to cross a few fields to get there.

After burning Joss paper, we go back. On the way back, my husband’s aunt asks: “Do you also burn paper money for your ancestors in Austria?”
“No, we don’t have this tradition.”
“What do you do to worship your ancestors?”
“We don’t worship our ancestors in the Chinese sense. We usually put flowers on the graves of our beloved ones.”

Do you celebrate Tomb Sweeping Festival?