Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 1 News List

More than 10,000 family members honor ancestor

HUGE GATHERING:Yeh Chun-jih was yesterday commemorated by his descendants, some of whom traveled from as far away as Brazil and the US

By Lee Jung-ping and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Descendants of Yeh Chun-jih worship their common ancestor on Tomb Sweeping Day in Taoyuan’s Sinwu District yesterday.

Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times

More than 10,000 descendants of Yeh Chun-jih (葉春日) — a man who migrated to Taiwan in the 17th century — yesterday visited Yongsing Borough (永興) in Taoyuan’s Sinwu District (新屋) to worship their common ancestor on Tomb Sweeping Day.

The Yeh family’s ancestral ceremony has been passed down for 283 years to more than 15 generations and yesterday’s ceremony was attended by descendants from Taiwan, Southeast Asian nations, Brazil and the US, Yongsing Borough Warden Yeh Kuo-chieh (葉國傑) said.

It was the first time that some younger family members had participated in the ceremony and seen the strength of the ancestral lineage, Yeh Kuo-chieh said, adding that the ceremony helps children appreciate the significance of funeral rites and their common ancestry.

The city government set up a temporary parking lot for the crowd and conducted traffic control, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said.

The city plans to build a parking lot near Yeh Chun-jih’s tomb to make transportation to and from the area more convenient, Cheng added.

Yeh Chun-jih arrived in Taiwan by sea with his son, Yeh Te-feng (葉特鳳), and settled in Sinwu District’s Danioulan area (大牛欄), Cheng said, adding that Yeh Te-feng had five sons; Ta-jung (大榮), Ta-hua (大華), Ta-fu (大富), Ta-kuei (大貴) and Ta-chun (大春).

In Hoklo and Hakka, chun (春) is homonymic to yu (餘, surplus), he said.

Yeh Te-feng’s sons’ names are meant to remind future generations to have a surplus of health, time, virtue and wealth, in addition to their pursuit for money and power, Cheng said.

The careful attention that Taiwanese pay to the funeral rites of their ancestors can best be seen in the Yeh Chun-jih family ceremony, he said.

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