Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution: Qingming Festival

The Qingming or 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 luni solar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. The Lee Association kindly gave me permission to photograph the day which included ceremonies in the Chinese section of Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetary and in the Lee Association Clan House. This was followed by a banquet at a restaurant.                                                                                                                                       “The word “clan” has been used in the past to translate two Chinese words: zu and zongZu is narrower in meaning and refers to a family with unilineal descent and institutions such as ancestral halls, graveyards, and lands. Two or more zu with the same surname and linked by common, distant ancestor belong to the same zong. Overseas Chinese who shared the same surname – although not directly related – assumed that they may have had a common, remote ancestor, and that in the broad sense of the word (zong), they were clansmen to each other. The majority of Chinese immigrants in Canada belonged to a few large clans and shared a small pool of surnames. Clansmen formed clan and native-place (district) associations or huiguan, which flourished in early Chinatowns across Canada. These associations were based on models which the migrants were familiar with from China, and provided social services as well as opportunities to express cultural traditions. The associations also attempted to protect their members and negotiate on their behalf against discrimination and other problems. Chinese immigrants paid dues to their clan associations, and their counterpart clan associations, back in China, were notified that the dues had been paid.” Terms and Explanation Courtesy of  Vancouver Public Library

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant  & Historical Chinatown Tours

– Tallulah

 

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