Singapore Dates for Remembering Ancestors: Qingming Festival & Ghost Festival

Recently I had to look up some important dates with regards to past ancestors in Singapore. On these dates there would be family gathering and prayers. One gathering occurs in April, and another gathering occurs in August.

More specifically, these dates are traditional Chinese practices known as the Qingming Festival and Ghost Festival.


Qingming Festival

In Singapore, the Qingming Festival is taken seriously. It is a time for families to gather together and pay respect to their deceased ancestors.

For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on the Qingming Festival.

Date:

Occurs on the 104th day after the winter solstice, a.k.a. the 15th day from the Spring Equinox. It is also known as an astronomical solar term called Qingming.

According to Wikipedia, Qingming

is the name of the 5th solar term of the traditional East Asian lunisolar calendar, which divides a year into 24 solar terms. Qingming begins when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 15° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 30°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 15°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 4 April or 5 April and ends around 20 April.

Alternate Names:

  • All Souls Day
  • Clear Bright Festival
  • Ancestors Day
  • Festival for Tending Graves
  • Grave Sweeping Day
  • Chinese Memorial Day
  • Tomb Sweeping Day
  • Spring Remembrance


Ghost Festival

In Singapore, Ghost Festival is a time for ancestor worship. Respect is payed to all deceased including the younger generations, same generations, and older generations.

During the Ghost Month, ghost and spirits (including deceased ancestors) from the lower realm visit the living.

For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on the Ghost Festival.

Date:

Ghost Day occurs on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. While, the seventh month is regarded as Ghost Month.

According to the Wikipedia entry, Chinese calendar

The month in the Chinese calendar starts on the day of a dark moon (i.e. the astronomical new moon, not the crescent new moon) and ends the day before the next one.

Alternate Names:

  • Hungry Ghost Festival
  • Yu Lan
  • Ghost Month