Qingming Festival (Tomb-sweeping Day), a Festival for Ancestors

Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-sweeping Day or Ancestors Day, always enrolls in the list of the most important Chinese traditional festivals in and outside the mainland. It is a special memorial festival for the ancestors, a time to pay respects to one's ancestors and to tidy up their gravesites.

Typically falling on either April 4 or 5, the Qingming festival is a precious heritage of brilliant Chinese cultures and customs, with a history of more than 2000 years. In China, "Qing Ming" literally means "Clear Brightness", which not only indicates the honesty and probity of people but also hints at the coming of late spring. So the Qingming Festival signifies two crucial things to the Chinese.

First, one should never forget the past beloved ones and their ancestors, and strive to be a person of honesty and probity. So, people in China, just as the name "Tomb-sweeping Day" suggests, often visit their family graves to tend to any underbrush and weeds that have grown out of hand around the grave. Weeds are pulled, dirt swept away and joss sticks, food and paper money is offered to the departed. In this way, they believe that the spirits of the deceased ancestor will know that they have not been forgotten and return their offspring's blessing and prosperity. School students are often organized to go to the Martyrs' Park to pay their respect to national heroes and martyrs who sacrificed their lives in battles for a happy life and prosperous country now.

Second, the planting season has come and one should begin his farm work. Qingming Festival is a symbol of the rebirth of Nature after the long harsh winter. From that day on, warm weather and nice rainfall will come to Chinese farms; everything is perfect for spring plowing and planting. It is said that if farmers work hard then, they will probably enjoy a considerable harvest in the autumn.

Nowadays, for those who are engaged in busy life & indulging in work in big cities, Qingming Festival becomes an ideal time for them to stop for a while, get away from concrete buildings to the green fields, sweep their ancestors' tombs, recall the sweet memory of them and take a deep breath nature. Outdoor activities like taking (also called Stepping-the-green, which means taking a walk in the green world), swing, polo,willow-planting, and kite-flying are favorite spring funs of the Qingming Festival, some of which even have developed into rituals of Qingming Festival.

Spring is a perfect time to take a China tour to explore the countryside, view the prosperous green world, watch traditional Chinese agricultural planting and enjoy the origin cultures Qingming Festival.

Further Reading:

Hanshi Festival & the History of Qingming Festival

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