Qingming festival in China: Mourn for ancestor and passed away loving people

2012年3月26日 | 标签:

Chinese Qingming festival is from April 4 to 6 every year.

Qingming festival existed for over 2400 years in China. Since Zhou dynasty, China decided to set the Qingming period between early spring to be the festival. Qingming in Chinese word means clear and bright weather, and it's a period when people feels willing to launch new year's work with raise of temperature. So it also become a festival for mourn ancestor before people start work for the new year.

Most Chinese family will go to visit ancestor's tomb during Qingming festival. Chinese people will bring foods, followers and paper made money (believe to be used in another world after passing away) to present in the ancestor's tomb, and sweep the tomb to show the respect to ancestor. Most Chinese people believe death is not a termination of life but to go another seperate world, where ancestors would observe if their descendants still care them.

Paper money example:

People burnt different paper money and they believe the burnt money and other matters are sent to the ancestors in the seperate world. Besides paper money, people also make paper models for all the things they want to send to seperate world, such as house, car recently. When burning such similar things paper models, people believe it's a way to share good things with their ancestors in another world.

Now Chinese people not only mourn for ancestors but also for passed away loving people during Qingming festival. According to the Chinese trandition, all tombs in China is not set in downtown but in some quite and peaceful places, usually far away from cities, so there would be very heavy traffic jam during Qingming festival now. Despite of the bad traffic and expensive cost of buying related matters, most Chinese people will go to mourn their ancestors and loved people who can not meet anymore. Qiming is a sentimental festival which will remind people of cherishing present life and not to forget those who passed away.

There is a special food called "Qingtuan" during Qingming festival, which is made of sticky rice and juice of green plants. In former Qingming festival, Chinese people was not allowed to cook for 2 days before the festival, so "Qingtuan" was the main food for the festival. We don't obey the festival taboo anymore, but keep the food as a hobby during Qingming festival.

Written by Fanfan.Guo