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Qing Ming Festival(清明节)

Tomb-sweeping Day 清明节 (qīng míng jié)
Tomb-sweeping, pay respect to sb. at his tomb 扫墓 (sǎo mù)
Ancestor worship祭祖
Sweet green rice ball青团
Farm work 农活

清明时节雨纷纷,(qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn)
路上行人欲断魂。(lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún)
借问酒家何处有,(jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu)
牧童遥指杏花村。(mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn)
The ceaseless drizzles drip all the dismal day,
So broken-hearted fares the traveler on the way.
When asked where could be found a tavern bower,
A cowboy points to yonder village of the apricot flower.

Qingming Festival, means clear and bright in Chinese, is the day for mourning the dead. It falls in early April every year. It corresponds with the onset of warmer weather, the start of spring plowing, and family outings.

In ancient China, Qingming was by no means the only time when sacrifices were made to ancestors. In fact such ceremonies were held very frequently, about once every two weeks, in addition to other important holidaysand festivals. The formalities of these ceremonies were in general very elaborate and expensive in terms of time and money.

In an effort to reduce this expense, Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) declared in 732 AD that respects would be fomally paid at the tombs of ancestors only on the day of Qingming.This is the custom that continues to date. People will visit their ancestors’ graves. They will tidy up, remove weeds and sweep away leaves. This is why Qingming is also known as the Tomb Sweeping Day. Beijing’s subway is particularly crowded around the Qingming Festival as people flock to Babaoshan, Beijing’s most famous cemetery and crematorium, to pay respects to their departed loved ones.
Qingming is not just a day of remembrance, it is also a day to celebrate the coming of spring, often by going out for a picnic. With the coming of spring, nature wakes up, dressing the world in green. All is new, clean and fresh.

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