The Tomb-Sweeping Day
The Tomb-Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival, usually occurring around April 5th of the Chinese calendar. It is also the one of most important festivals of sacrifice.
On this day, people commemorate ancestors and sweep graves, not only for cherishing the martyrs and showing grief, but also has the meaning that we have to trace to its source in order to make things better.
On May 20, 2006, the Tomb-Sweeping Day declared by the Ministry of Culture was included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list approved by the State Council
The Tomb-Sweeping Day is also called the Spring-outing Day. The Tomb-sweeping Day is between mid spring and late spring, which falls on the 108th day after the winter solstice.
The Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Hungry Ghost Festival and Winter Clothing festival are Chinese important day of worship.
On this day, people sweep graves for their ancestors.
The traditional festival--The Tomb-Sweeping Day can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty, which has the history of more than 2,500 years so far.
The Tomb-Sweeping Day coincides with the season--spring, according to ancient books, the so-called Qing Ming means that everything is sprouting, clean and bright.
The Tomb-Sweeping Day is in March when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is lively again. It is a fine time to go out and to appreciate the beautiful scenes of nature during the festival. Therefore, people have the custom of spring outing.
In the past, people often decorate their head with willow branches when they are spring outing and hung willow branches on door fronts in order to exorcise evil spirits. Planting willows are prevalent in some places.
There is a poem describing this custom.
Now, the custom of planting willow is rare, but the custom of spring outing is reserved ever since.
People are also involved in various activities actively: play football, tug of war, swing, fly kites and so on.
What makes flying kites during this festival special is that people cut the string while the kite is in the sky to let it fly free. It is said annoyance and misfortune can be eliminated by doing this.
Recall the voice and expression of kinsfolk, and cherish the great achievements of martyrs,
The Tomb-Sweeping Day is not only the festival that people worship ancestors and cherish the martyrs, but also the bond for the Chinese nation to get to know the ancestors.
What’s more important is that people get to know the ancestors, find their own deficiencies, amend their behavior and lead descendants.
Inspire the value of life and carry forward the positive energy.