Today we are going to learn about a Chinese festival Qingming Festival. It is an important day to show respects to ancestors. Qingming Festival, also called Tomb Sweeping Day or Pure Brightness in English, usually falls on April 4 or 5. Qingming is the second of 24 solar terms on the traditional Chinese solar calendar. It is also a time for people to go outside and start enjoying the greenery of spring.The Most Important Day of Sacrifice.
On May 20, 2006, the festival was listed as one of the first national intangible cultural heritage events. There are various activities for Qingming Festival. The most popular ones, including tomb sweeping, spring outings, and kite flying, and putting willow branches on gates, have been an important part of this festival since the beginning. The festival integrates both reverence and fun through its customs.
Some people show their respects to their ancestors by laying wreaths in the front of the graves. Qingming Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and an important day of sacrifice for most people to go and sweep tombs and commemorate their ancestors. On this day, tomb sweeping is one of the most important and popular activities to show respect to ancestors.
In Qingming Festival, people usually worship their ancestors by burning incense and 'paper money' in their ancestors' grave sites. People commemorate and show respect to their ancestors by visiting their graves, and offering food, tea, wine, incense, joss paper (representing money), etc. They sweep the tombs, removing weeds, and adding fresh soil to the graves, stick willow branches on the tomb, and burn incense and 'paper money'.They pray before their ancestors' graves and beseech them to bless their families. However, the custom has been greatly simplified today, especially in cities, where only flowers are presented to the dead relatives.
During Qingming Festival, people wear soft willow branches and place the branches on gates and front doors. People believe that this custom will ward off wandering evil spirits during Qingming. That willows are considered magical is mainly a Buddhist influence. Traditional pictures of the Goddess of MercyGuanyinoften show her seated on a rock with a willow branch in a vase of water at her side. The goddess used this mysterious water and branch to scare away demons. According to historical records there is an old saying, "Put willow branches up on gates; drive ghosts away from houses."
Flying kites is also an important custom enjoyed by many people, young and old, during the Qingming Festival. The uniqueness of kite flying during the Qingming Festival lies in that kites are not only flown during the day but also in the evening.Little colored lanterns are tied to the kites or to the strings that hold the kites. When kites fly in the evening, the lanterns look like twinkling stars.In the past, people cut the string to let the kite fly freely. People believe that this custom can bring good luck and eliminate diseases. Kite flying is popular throughout all of China.
Qingming Festival is a good time to feel the breath of spring Qingming is also called Taqing Festival means a spring outing, when people get out and enjoy the spring blossoms. The festival usually falls on a day not long before everything turns green in the north, and well into the spring flower season in the south. It marks the beginning of the season when people spend more time outside as the weather warms up.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Qingming Festival? Let people know it. Drop your comment below in the comment box. Kindly share this article. Thanks for reading.