qingming —it is also called tomb-sweeping day. it falls on april 4th or 5th . that is a special day for the living to show love and respect to their dead friends or relatives. people often go to sweep the tomb and put the meat, wine in front of the tomb. one interesting thing is that people burn the paper money for the dead.
1、qingming jie(all souls’ day)
qing ming is a time to remember thedead and the dearly departed. more important, it is a period to honour and topay respect to one’s deceased ancestors and family members. because itreinforces the ethic of filial piety, qing ming is a major chinese festival.
literally meaning “clear”(qing) and “bright” (ming), this chinese festival falls in earlyspring, on the 106th day after the winter solstice. it is a “spring”festival, and it is an occasion for the whole family to leave the home and tosweep the graves of their forebears. chinese being practical people thissweeping of the graves is given an extended period, that is, 10 days before andafter qing ming day. among some dialect groups a whole month is allocated.
qing ming is popularly associatedwith jie zi zhui, who lived in shanxi province in 600 b.c. legend has it thatjie saved his starving lord’s life by serving a piece of his own leg. when thelord succeeded in becoming the ruler of a small principality, he invited hisfaithful follower to join him. however, jie declined his invitation, preferringto lead a hermit’s life with his mother in the mountains.
believing that he could force jieout by burning the mountain, the lord ordered his men to set the forest onfire. to his consternation, jie chose to remain where he was and was burnt todeath. to commemorate jie, the lord ordered all fires in every home to be putout on the anniversary of jie’s death. thus began the “cold foodfeast”, a day when no food could be cooked since no fire could be lit.
the “cold food” festival occurson the eve of qing ming and is often considered as part of the qing mingfestival. as time passes, the qing ming festival replaced the “coldfood” festival. whatever practice is observed，the basic observation of qing ming is to rememberone’s elders by making a special effort to visit their graves, ashes orancestral tablets. to make the visit even more meaningful, some time should bespent to remind the younger members of the family of the lives andcontributions of their ancestors, and the story of jie zi zhui who choose deathover capitulation.