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Qingming Festival (Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day)

Mai Wah Society & Museum
Event organized by Mai Wah Society & Museum

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The Mai Wah Society will hold a traditional Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day, known as the Qingming Festival, on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. at Mount Moriah Cemetery (Section R). The Mai Wah welcomes any community members that would like to join in the celebration.

The Qingming Festival is both a solemn remembrance of ancestors and a happy celebration of spring and the renewal of life. The Mai Wah Society will mark the occasion by sweeping and placing flowers on the historic graves of Butte’s Chinese population; making offerings of fruit and wine; burning incense and joss (fake) money; and sharing traditional snacks.

“We can only imagine the lively celebration of the Qingming Festival in the late 1800s, when perhaps 2,000 Chinese lived in Butte,” says Pat Munday, President of the Mai Wah Society. “The funerary burner and ceremonial platform at the cemetery still hold these memories, as do the graves of those buried nearby. We are proud to honor the memory of the many Chinese merchants, restaurateurs, miners, and sundry laborers who made Butte great.”

Community members are encouraged to bring brooms, snacks to share, beverages, and kites. The Mai Wah Society will provide incense, joss (fake) money, and ceremonial food. The Chinese portion of the cemetery is in Section R, which is located in the southwest corner of Mount Moriah Cemetery. If the back road in the cemetery to Section R is muddy, please park where the pavement ends and walk.