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Chinese Festival : Qingming Festival (Qingmingjie 清明节)

A traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice.

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Chinese Festival : Qingming Festival (Qingmingjie 清明节)

  • Sep 15, 2011
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Rating:
+5

The Qingming (Pure Brightness) Festival is one of the 24 seasonal division points in China, falling on April 4-6 each year. After the festival, the temperature will rise up and rainfall increases. It is the high time for spring plowing and sowing. But the Qingming Festival is not only a seasonal point to guide farm work, it is more a festival of commemoration.

The Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness.

This is the most important day of sacrifice. Both the Han and minority ethnic groups at this time offer sacrifices to their ancestors and sweep the tombs of the deceased. Also, they will not cook on this day and only cold food is served.

The Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival was usually one day before the Qingming Festival. As our ancestors often extended the day to the Qingming, they were later combined.

On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. Traffic on the way to the cemeteries becomes extremely jammed. The customs have been greatly simplified today. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offer food, flowers and favorites of the dead, then burn incense and paper money and bow before the memorial tablet.

In contrast to the sadness of the tomb sweepers, people also enjoy hope of Spring on this day. The Qingming Festival is a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is again lively. Since ancient times, people have followed the custom of Spring outings. At this time tourists are everywhere.

People love to fly kites during the Qingming Festival. Kite flying is actually not limited to the Qingming Festival. Its uniqueness lies in that people fly kites not during the day, but also at night. A string of little lanterns tied onto the kite or the thread look like shining stars, and therefore, are called "god's lanterns."

The Qingming Festival is also a time to plant trees, for the survival rate of saplings is high and trees grow fast later. In the past, the Qingming Festival was called "Arbor Day". But since 1979, "Arbor Day" was settled as March 12 according to the Gregorian calendar.
Chinese Festival : Qingming Festival (Qingmingjie 清明节)

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September 15, 2011
In the States, my family doesn't celebrate too many Chinese holidays, but this one, we do. I've always just gone to the cemetery without fully knowing the history behind it, so thanks for this! It sounds way more festive in China than around here :P
September 15, 2011
Yup, a lot more in China. I'm in Indonesia, but we celebrate some of them here.
 
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About the reviewer
Tan Chengling 谭称玲 ()
Ranked #1031
   I'm a teacher ; interested in music, languages, novels, movies and sports.      This is my blog where I share about language, music and culture.      … more
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Wiki

The Qingming Festival, Pure Brightness Festival or Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice (or the 15th day from the Spring Equinox), usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar (see Chinese calendar). Astronomically it is also a solar term (See Qingming). The Qingming festival falls on the first day of the fifth solar term, named Qingming. Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery") and tend to the graves of departed ones.

Qingming has been regularly observed as a statutory public holiday in Taiwan and in the Chinese jurisdictions of Hong Kong and Macau. Its observance was reinstated as a nation wide public holiday in mainland China in 2008, after having been previously suppressed by the ruling Communist Party in 1949.

The transcription of the term Qingming may appear in a number of different forms, some of which are Qingming, Qing Ming, Qing Ming Jie, Ching Ming (official in Hong Kong) and Ching Ming Chieh.
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China, Culture, Life, Death, Chinese Holidays, Chinese Traditions, Tradition

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