A Gift to Our Ancestors

Every year it is a tradition to get together and provide offerings to our family members of our past. It is our belief that on a specific day the souls of our deceased ancestors are able to leave the spirit world and enter the realm of the living. Within their time in the living world they are able to spend a day enjoying food offered by living relatives. It is a moment to remember our past and create a bonding experience amongst our family.

Chinese decor with oranges are used to indicate gold and wealth to the spirits

This tradition, which derives from Chinese heritage, usually occurs at the grave site of our ancestors. It is initiated by lighting 2 sticks of candles to summon our ancestors.

Red candles are lit to initiate the offerings to ancestors

A variety of food which family members either cooked or bought is laid out in front of the head stone. Bowls of rice with little tea cups filled with alcohol and tea initiate the offerings.

Offerings to our ancestors include fruits, snack and variety of seafood
Traditional offerings are a whole chicken, duck, and pork belly

A total of 6 incense are lit per person to offer 3 pieces to the spirit guardian watching over the cemetery and another 3 to invite our ancestors to our food offerings. A small prayer to our ancestors is silently spoken with hands pressed together in a respectful “wai”.

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Paper clothing and money are burnt to allow us to give valuables to our ancestors in the spirit world
Food offered to our ancestors is then shared among family during lunch

The best part of the experience is that after all the food has been offered to our ancestors, we indulge ourselves with all the food and share the joys of being with our family members.

Homemade crab cakes (mixture of crab, pork, wrapped in tofu sheets) made by a relative
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