The Qingming (Pure Brightness) Festival is one of the 24 seasonaldivision points in China, falling on April 4-6 each year. After thefestival, the temperature will rise up and rainfall increases. Itis the high time for spring plowing and sowing. But the QingmingFestival is not only a seasonal point to guide farm work, it ismore a festival of commemoration。
The Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness andhappiness。
This is the most important day of sacrifice. Both the Han and minorityethnic groups at this time offer sacrifices to their ancestors andsweep the tombs of the diseased. Also, they will not cook on thisday and only cold food is served。
The Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival was usually one day before the QingmingFestival. As our ancestors often extended the day to the Qingming,they were later combined。
Oneach Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people whocame to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. Traffic on the way to thecemeteries becomes extremely jammed. The customs have been greatlysimplified today. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offerfood, flowers and favorites of the dead, then burn incense andpaper money and bow before the memorial tablet。
Incontrast to the sadness of the tomb sweepers, people also enjoyhope of Spring on this day. The Qingming Festival is a time whenthe sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green andnature is again lively. Since ancient times, people have followedthe custom of Spring outings. At this time tourists areeverywhere。
Peoplelove to fly kites during the Qingming Festival. Kite flying isactually not limited to the Qingming Festival. Its uniqueness liesin that people fly kites not during the day, but also at night. Astring of little lanterns tied onto the kite or the thread looklike shining stars, and therefore, are called "god'slanterns."
TheQingming Festival is also a time to plant trees, for the survivalrate 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 Gregoriancalendar。