Chicago’s Chinese Community Holds Onto Ching Ming Traditions

Worshippers burn the “ghost money” to their families’ ancestors at the grave in a cemetery during the Chinese Ching Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Day, in Hong Kong Saturday, April 5, 2014. Thousands of Hong Kong residents pay respects to their dead ancestors and relatives during the festival.
Worshippers burn the “ghost money" to their families' ancestors at the grave in a cemetery during the Chinese Ching Ming. Thousands pay respects to their dead ancestors and relatives during the festival. Kin Cheung / AP Photo
Worshippers burn the “ghost money” to their families’ ancestors at the grave in a cemetery during the Chinese Ching Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Day, in Hong Kong Saturday, April 5, 2014. Thousands of Hong Kong residents pay respects to their dead ancestors and relatives during the festival.
Worshippers burn the “ghost money" to their families' ancestors at the grave in a cemetery during the Chinese Ching Ming. Thousands pay respects to their dead ancestors and relatives during the festival. Kin Cheung / AP Photo

Chicago’s Chinese Community Holds Onto Ching Ming Traditions

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.

Ching Ming is an annual festival where the Chinese pay their respects to their dearly departed ancestors. Chinese flock to their relatives’ graves to sweep away debris leave something behind for the deceased, often food and drink.

It’s a tradition that’s remained strong within the Chinese American community. Bernie Wong, president of the Chinese American Service League which provides social services to Chicago’s Chinese toddlers through seniors, joined us to talk about how the Chicago community marks this important holiday and how things have changed over the years.

WBEZ’s Monica Eng and Chicago Tribune reporter Louisa Chu share traditions from their own families.