Nightclub on the Knoll

HC Lee

2021 September 14

Gravesweeping Day, burn fake money, talk human-talk to ghosts.

Valentine's Day, burn real money, talk ghost-talk to human.

-- Anonymous

Dear Sibs & Kids,

This past weekend, riding on one of my regular bike routes, on one particular stretch about 1 km in length, which I'd almost never encountered a car, I was surprised to see on that particular day had both sides parked full of them, and lots of people carrying heavy plastic bags all walking in the same direction.

Better stop and investigate. A women told me that people were there to visit and clean their ancestors' graves and to make offerings to the departed. Indeed, the bushy knoll about a hundred meters to my left was what looks like an unofficial cemetery, a "messy burying knoll" ???, sometimes called a Nightclub on account of its alleged liveliness after dark.

The traditional Grave-Sweeping Day is Qingming Jie ???, or April 4 (plus minus one day), which is still three weeks away from the day mentioned above. Apparently, in recent years people have started to move the visit up, by up to several weeks, to avoid traffic jam.

lv, sogdian ll

The sun is setting and will soon disappear behind the distant hills. Some of the residents, even in their deep, cozy slumber, may have already sensed that the few photons from the golden shaft that have managed to penetrate the thick walls of their sanctuary to rattle inside their abodes are rapidly decreasing in number, and the air outside is beginning to cool. Soon most of them will be stirring and getting ready for the revelry in the coming night. Someone has told me that for the revelers every night is a Valentine's Night. I beat a hasty retreat. For I did not want to find myself in a position in which I have to decline the ghost-talk from a she-reveler, inviting me to join her in their Valentine festivities.

© HC Lee, July 30, 2021, Taoyuan, Taiwan