Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival: Honoring Ancestors and Embracing Spring

The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is one of the four major traditional Chinese festivals along with the Chinese New Year, Loong Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. This blog would talk about the tradition of the Qingming Festival.

Tomb Sweeping and Ancestor Worship

The tradition of tomb sweeping and ancestor worship has a long history, dating back to the Qin Dynasty. During the Qingming Festival, the main purpose is to honor ancestors, expressing filial piety and respect. The ritual typically involves grave sweeping, or worshiping in ancestral halls in certain regions.

The ritual usually takes place in the morning of the Qingming Festival. During tomb sweeping, the grave is first tidied by removing weeds and adding new soil, followed by bowing and paying respects, while the joss paper is burned as an offering for sacrifices. This action not only expresses respect and care for the ancestors but also reflects the belief in the significant connection between the ancestors and their descendants. 

Qingming Festival

Food during Qingming Festival: Qingtuan, Sanzi and Eggs

Qingtuan, a traditional Qingming Festival delicacy, is a vibrant green glutinous rice ball made with mugwort and filled with red bean paste. It offers a delicate scent of green grass, a soft and sticky texture, and a sweet yet non-cloying flavor, making it a symbol of the season and a delightful treat with cultural significance during this festival.  

Qingming Festival

Deep-fried Sanzi, is a type of fried dessert made from rice flour. It comes in various shapes and boasts a crispy and fragrant taste, making it a popular and enduring favorite among the common, due to its cost-effectiveness and easy preservation.

Qingming Festival

Eating eggs during the Qingming Festival symbolizes a wish for good health and well-being for family members in the coming year. The usage of eggs during this festival includes “painted eggs” for consumption and “carved eggs” for decorative purposes only.

Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival

Spring Outing with Family

The Qingming festival falls during the thriving spring season when nature is full of vitality. During this period, the Chinese not only sweep tombs but also take the opportunity to go on outings with their family, enjoying the countryside. This tradition of visiting scenic spots and going on outings during the Qingming festival has been passed down since the Tang dynasty.

Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival

Flying Kites to Remove Illness

The kite holds a significant cultural importance and is a favored activity during the Qingming Festival. Flying kites is not only just a tradition activity during the Qingming Festival but only is believed that can dispel impurities and negative energies. During the Qingming Festival, people inscribed their illnesses and misfortunes on kites. As the kites float away with the wind, it symbolizes the release of one’s ailments and impurities.

Grow Willow from Cuttings

During the Qingming Festival in China, there is a custom called “插柳” (Growing Willow from Cuttings). The origin of this custom has various explanations. Some believe it is to commemorate the agricultural god Shennong. In some places, people insert willow branches under the eaves of their houses as a way to forecast the weather. 

Another common explanation is related to remove evil spirits. Influenced by the Buddhist Guanyin using a willow branch dipped in water to help sentient beings, many people believe that willow branches have the power to ward off evil spirits.

Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *