Qingming festival / Tomb Sweeping Day / Cold Food Festival
Qingming, meaning clear and bright, is festival to hold memorial ceremony for the dead. Besides, Qingming is one of the 24 solar terms in China, according to which peasants arrange their faming activities. Qingming marks the start of spring plowing in China"s north, and of spring sowing in the south. It always falls on April 4th or 5th. According to the traditional customs, people eat cold food during the festival.
Qingming festival is an important traditional festival in China. Traditionally, people visit their ancestors" graves on that day. This activity is called Saomu in Chinese. It means to commemorate a dead person at his grave. On the early morning of the festival, people should take wine, food, fruits and zhiqian (paper made to resemble money and burned as an offering to the dead) to the graves and put them before the graves and zhiqian should be burned at the graves. People clean up, remove weeds and sweep away leaves and show their filial piety to elderly or ancestors. It is an important concept in Chinese culture. Because many graves or crematoriums are located in remote locations, and sometimes a family has more than one grave to visit, a trip to clean and pray at ancestral graves during Qing Ming can be a trip at the crack of dawn and to end only late at last light.
Qingming is not only a day of remembrance, but also a day to enjoy the greenery of springtime, 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. In other word, this activity is called Taqing.
Nowadays, Qingming festival is still very popular in China.