The Qing Ming Festival is an opportunity for people to remember and honour their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before their ancestors, sweep and tidy their tombs, offer food, tea, wine, burn candles, joss-sticks, joss paper accessories, etc. The rites have a long tradition in Asia.
For the oversea Chinese community, the Qing Ming festival is very much a family celebration and, at the same time, a family obligation. They see this festival as a time of reflection and to honour and give thanks to their forefathers. Overseas Chinese normally visit the graves of their recently deceased relatives on the nearest weekend to the actual date.
Autumn Festival was traditionally a thanksgiving festival for the Autumn harvest in November. Today we use the day to thank and pray our ancestors at their graves, sweep and tidy their tombs, offer food, tea, wine, burn candles, joss-sticks, joss paper accessories, etc. In fact, we treat it similarly as Qing Ming Festival.
In Liverpool, there are two cemeteries which accommodate Chinese graves; Anfield and Everton Cemeteries. Many of our members' ancestors are buried in these two locations. Our association visit these two cemeteries regularly in Spring and Autumn to pay our respect to our ancestors, and all other Chinese compatriots who are buried there.
Since the 1950s, See Yep Association has held the Spring and
Autumn Ceremony every year. Due to the impact of the global Covid -19 pandemic
and in the UK, we have been unable to carry out the ceremony for more than a
year. This year, thanks to the successful rollout of the vaccination, the
pandemic situation in the second half of the year was relatively under
controlled. We can finally proceed with the detailed plans, arrangements and
On Sunday, 17th October, we gathered together at See Yep Association, brought flowers and offerings, took the pre-booked coach, and set off together in Chinatown by the Chinese arch at 2pm. According to the usual procedure, we first came to Anfield Cemetery, where our members paid a libation to our Chinese ancestors, laid flowers, offerings, bowed and paid high respects to our Chinese ancestors. This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Revolution of 1911. We bowed and laid flowers to the martyrs who died in World War I, and to Mr. Yang Shouren, a martyr of the Revolution of 1911. Our members also laid flowers on every Chinese tombstone.
Our second stop was the Everton Cemetery. We paid our respect to our ancestors, laid flowers and offerings, bowed and paid high respects to our Chinese ancestors. We also laid flowers on every Chinese tombstone.
When finished, we took the pre-booked coach back to our association. We have spent good quality time together, catching up with each other, and tasted the traditional See Yep homemade food and the delicious refreshments. The atmosphere was very accommodating and joyful. What an unforgettable and meaningful afternoon!
On Sunday 13th of October, although it was a rainy day, See Yep association members turned out in large number to attend the autumn visit to Anfield and Everton cemeteries. As usual, we travelled in a large luxurious coach. After we paid our respects to our ancestors at the cemeteries, we returned to our association to enjoy the food and drink with fellow members and families. The bad weather did not spoil the day for us.
Members of See Yep Association met up in Liverpool Chinatown on Sunday 7th April 2019. We were privileged to have Manchester based China’s Vice Consul-General Fan Yingjie joining us to visit Anfield and Everton Cemeteries.
Our first stop was Anfield Cemetery. After the main ceremony of paying respect to the Chinese ancestors at the memorial monument, our Chairman Mr Ken Tam and our Vice-Chairs accompanied Vice Consul-General to pay respect to the WWI Chinese Labour Corps who are resting in the cemetery. Mr Ken Tam explained to Vice Consul-General that our members are committed to hold biannual cemetery visits to commemorate all Chinese ancestors in the two cemeteries.
Our second stop was Everton Cemetery. Mr Ken Tam escorted Vice Consul-General around the Chinese sector of the cemetery, showing him some of the headstones of our ancestors, and their family connections with our members.
Upon our return to See Yep Association, Vice Consul-General was treated to some traditional homemade See Yep cuisine, as well as some roast meat dishes, and buns from the restaurant. It was a memorable day for all.
We had the pleasure of meeting Councillor Adele Dowling and two Trustees of ‘Friends of Anfield Cemetery’, Mr Ray Beeton, and Mr Brian Dowling, who joined us at Anfield Cemetery today to commemorate our past compatriots and friends at the ‘Spring Cleaning Festival’ and Commemoration ceremony.
Our tradition and custom of paying respect to our ancestors was explained to our guests by Wing Wong, Betty Tam and Jimmy Woo during their visit. Respect is one of the cornerstones of Chinese culture, and we value it with all our hearts. Our guests were very impressed by our continuous practice of this biannual traditional custom. They have expressed their wish to join us in future cemetery visits.
Councillor Adele Dowling and Brian Dowling were not able to join us at our buffet due to their prior arrangement. Ray Beeton came to our association premises after the cemetery visit. Ray was delighted with the food at our buffet and praised the unity of the large number of our members working together to make the day a success.