The Qingming Festival is on April 4th this year in China, and on the 5th in Taiwan. In Taiwan it’s called Tomb Sweeping Day.
This day is a remembrance of ancestors – it’s similar to All Saints Day and The Day of the Dead. People clean the tombs of their ancestors and offer them food, drink, joss (paper gifts) and spirit money (not real currency). Some people carry willow branches to ward off the evil spirits that are thought to roam the earth on this day.
Qingming is also a celebration of the spring. People have picnics, play on swings and fly kites.
There is a well-known poem by the poet Du Mu (803 – 852) that mentions this day. Below you can find the Chinese text, the Pinyin and an English translation I tried my hand!
It’s raining hard at the time of the Ching Ming Festival,
The mourner’s heart is overwhelmed on the road upland.
May I ask where there’s a tavern to drown my sorrows?
The shepherd boy points to Xinghua Village in the distance.
清 明 时 节 雨 纷 纷，
路 上 行 人 欲 断 魂。
借 问 酒 家 何 处 有，
牧 童 遥 指 杏 花 村。
qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn
lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún
jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu
mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn
Below you can read other posts about the Chingming Festival…
Feel free to share your holiday photos or traditions by commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The poem was read by Jia Zhou for Librevox.
This artilce was posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 6:42 pm and is filed under China, Chinese, Ching Ming, Ching Ming Festival, Countries & Cultures, Du Mu, Holidays Around the World, Hong Kong, Languages, Mama Lisa, Poetry, Poets, Qingming, Taiwan, Tomb Sweeping Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.