What is the burial customs of East Asian people?
We, the Vietnamese people in particular and the Eastern people in general have a cultural trait of remembering our roots and showing gratitude to those who have helped us. We believe that when people pass away, their souls still exist in another realm. Therefore, it is very common for us to remember the deceased by worshiping and offering prayers on special occasions such as anniversaries and the Lunar New Year. Additionally, as the end of the lunar year approaches, it is customary for the descendants to visit the graves of their deceased relatives. This is a cultural practice that reflects the gratitude of the Vietnamese people.
What should be prepared when going to the grave?
When going to the grave, people should prepare incense, fresh flowers, and wear formal and modest clothing. It is not appropriate to wear revealing clothes as it shows disrespect to the deceased and to one’s superiors. In addition, if possible, it is advisable to check auspicious dates and times for all activities.
According to the beliefs of our ancestors, there are three types of people who should not go to the grave. Let’s find out!
Women during their menstrual cycle should not go to the grave
Women who are menstruating are often weak and not in good health, which is why our ancestors did not recommend women to go to the grave during this time. Furthermore, visiting the grave symbolizes good luck, so those who are bleeding should not go as it is not good for feng shui.
Elderly and frail individuals should not go
The topic of grave sweeping on Thanh Minh is a form of ancestor worship. It is an emotionally heavy task that cannot be avoided. The atmosphere is melancholic, which can have a negative impact on the elderly. It can be difficult for them to navigate uneven terrain. In case something unfortunate were to happen, it would undermine the significance of the day as there are risks involved in grave sweeping. Therefore, elderly individuals who are frail and have shaky limbs should stay home, especially those over 70 years old.
Children under 3 years old should not go to the grave
According to the beliefs of the Vietnamese people, grave sweeping is a solemn and dignified event, where there is no place for noise and laughter. Children under the age of three do not understand the purpose of grave sweeping. Bringing them to the gravesite is disrespectful to the ancestors and can interfere with their spiritual peace. On top of that, from a scientific perspective, all burial sites have high levels of negative energy, resulting in a colder environment. Young children under the age of three have weaker immune systems, making them more susceptible to illnesses. From a spiritual and feng shui standpoint, if young children venture into these areas, they may become restless, causing their parents to have to take extra care of them. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.
* Information is for reference and reflection purposes only.