THIS year, the Chinese, especially Taoists, will celebrate the Qing Ming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day on April 4 to remember their ancestors.
They observe the annual celebration by cleaning the graves, providing food and prayer offerings and worshipping the deceased.
In recent years, modernised prayer offerings for Qing Ming, such as luxurious cars, electronic gadgets, branded clothing and bungalows made from paper mache and cardboard, have become commonly available.
However, the cost of these prayer offerings can be expensive.
Ban Leang Hiang Sdn Bhd in Pudu market is one store where such goods can be bought and sales manager Aerin So said, “At first, customers were shocked when they looked at the prices of the prayer offerings.
“But in the end, they will still buy a lot of prayer offerings because money does not really matter in this scenario,” he said.
“It is the intention that counts because filial piety is very important in Chinese culture,” he added.
The store also offers pre-packed offerings ranging from RM30 to RM100, but the customers still prefer to pick the offerings for the deceased themselves.
So said, “It might end up costing more, but the customers would not mind as the celebration is only once a year.”
Bann Poh Trading Sdn Bhd owner Yew Eng Joo said, “The various modernised paper offerings are available to fulfil customer demand.
“Customers usually buy offerings not based on the price, but based on the deceased’s personality, hobbies and favourite items when he or she was still alive,” he said.
“With the intention of making the deceased blissful in the afterlife, customers will not mind spending a little bit extra on the offerings,” he added.
He also said the demand for Qing Ming prayer offerings increased every year.
Leong Chan Yew, who observes Qing Ming annually, said, “I would usually spend more than RM100 for the celebration and it isn’t a problem as the celebration is only once a year,” he said.