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In addition to funeral prayers for the newly departed, Chinese families also pay respects to ancestors during various Chinese festivals, birth anniversary and death anniversary.
Refers to praying on the birth day of the departed. The first birthday after their death is rarely neglected, but subsequently in the following years, it is normal to keep it simple.
Praying on the anniversary day one year after the passing of the newly departed, the first year is called “anniversary” while subsequent years are known as second anniversary and third anniversary etc. respectively. As compared to birth anniversary, the death anniversary is of more importance where prayer ceremonies are carried out either on a large scale or a simple affair.
Qing Ming Festival:
Qing Ming Festival is the period when Chinese pay respects and prayers to ancestors to show their filial piety. Prayers can be carried out fifteen days before and after the Qing Ming Festival.
Hungry Ghost Festival is a period of compassion when the Chinese offer prayers to deliver all sentient beings from torture. Prayers can be carried out fifteen days before and after the Hungry Ghost Festival.
Chinese New Year/Yuan Xiao Festival/Dragon Boat Festival/Mid-Autumn Festival/Winter Solstice:
During these Chinese festivals, the family usually gathers for a reunion, strengthens family cohesion and show care and concern for each other. Many families also pray to ancestors on these festivals, to show gratitude and pray for the well-being of all.