Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The nose that can tell the festivals

My nose is sensitive. My throat tends to get irritated when my nose smells smoke or things burning.

Perhaps the title of this post is simply an exaggeration. However, if people practised traditions to an extreme, my nose might really be able to tell the Chinese festivals. This conclusion is of course largely based on my personal impressions.

I have been working in an office that is based in a residential estate. Working in a residential estate, one could often bear witness to how the people conduct their day-to-day living. At times, one could see children carrying their school bags to proceed on their way home. At other times, one could see housewives carrying bags of groceries from a nearby market.

In that residential estate that my office is located within, I seem to experience irritation on my nose on the first and the fifteenth day of each month on the Chinese lunar calendar. I probably have to apologise that the act of burning incense (with or without offerings) never seem to strike a chord with me. I don't seem to wish to adopt the act of burning incense as a way of celebrating significant days on the Chinese calendar.

However, there are definitely people who think very differently from me. I noticed that many Chinese folks would burn incense and incense paper on the first and the fifteenth day of each month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Actually, it is not the act of burning incense that I find bothering. What I have found bothering and irritating for my nose and my throat are the smoke and the burning smell from the burning. Maybe one of the next greatest invention that I would appreciate would be the invention of incense and paper that don't give out soot and smoke when burnt. Aspiring inventors, please take note of this idea. Thank you.

Today is Qing Ming Jie, which literally translates into Clear Brightness in Mandarin. One of the ways that the Chinese celebrates this festival is to make offerings to one's ancestors. Part of the ritual involves burning incense, if I have understood properly. (Obviously, you could see that I am lacking much experience celebrating Qing Ming).

Since it is Qing Ming Jie, I thought I should do some investigations as to how the Chinese celebrate this festive. Hopefully, I might chance upon alternative ways that the Chinese could celebrate this festive without having to burn incense. I greatly need a smoke-free environment.

Below is the result of my small-scale investigation. Read the following URLs for more information on the festival:
- http://www.c-c-c.org/chineseculture/festival/qingming/qingming.html
- http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/Festivals/78319.htm
- http://www.china.org.cn/english/2001/Apr/10256.htm
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qingming_Festival


Well, I think I won't mind if Qing Ming was celebrated flying kites, or sweep tombs.

1 comment:

emily said...

yes! its less den 24hours to my liberatioN! =)