Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a traditional Chinese festival that falls on the 15th day after the spring equinox. It is a time to honor the ancestors, pay respect to the deceased, and celebrate the arrival of spring.
The origin of Qingming Festival can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), when people held ceremonies to worship their ancestors and offer sacrifices to the gods. The festival was also influenced by the legend of Jie Zitui, a loyal follower of Duke Wen of Jin who died in a fire while protecting his lord. To commemorate Jie Zitui, Duke Wen ordered his people to avoid using fire and eat cold food on the anniversary of his death. This custom became known as Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival, which later merged with Qingming Festival.
The main activities of Qingming Festival include sweeping tombs, offering food and flowers to the ancestors, burning paper money and incense, and praying for blessings. Some people also fly kites, plant willow branches, go for a spring outing, or enjoy tea and snacks. Qingming Festival is not only a solemn occasion to remember the past, but also a joyful celebration of life and nature.
Qingming Festival is a unique cultural heritage of China that reflects the values of filial piety, loyalty, and gratitude. It is also a festival that connects people with their roots and traditions. By observing Qingming Festival, people express their respect for history and their hope for the future.