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Qingming Festival

Updated Beijing Time

The Qingming Festival (also the Tomb-sweeping Day) meaning Clear and Bright Festival, 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 (Chinese lunar calendar). Every leap year, Qing Ming is on April 4. Astronomically, it is also a solar term. In solar terms, the Qingming festival is on the 1st day of the 5th solar term, which is also named Qingming. Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery"), and also to tend to the graves of departed ones.

 

 
Qingming is a statutory public holiday in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It has long been a public holiday in the latter three jurisdictions, but became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008 for the first time since 1949.

For the Chinese, it is a day to remember and honor one's ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, (joss) paper accessories, and/or libation to the ancestors. The rites are very important to most Chinese and especially farmers. Some people carry willow branches with them on Qingming, or put willow branches on their gates and/or front doors. They think that willow branches help ward off the evil ghosts that wander on Qingming. Also on Qingming, people go on family outings, start the spring plowing, sing, dance, and Qingming is a time where young couples start courting. Another popular thing to do is fly kites (in shapes of animals, or characters from Chinese opera).

Special Bus Lines Opened during Qingming Festival from April 4th, 2009

Source: Wikipedia/ Lifeofguangzhou.com

Editor: Carrot Chan

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