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Tomb Sweeping Day

By:Alice
Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, Ancestor Worship Festival, which is an ancient festival of the Chinese nation. Qingming is one of the 24 solar terms of Chinese agriculture. It is not only a solemn festival to sweep tombs and pay respects to ancestors, but also a joyful festival for people to get close to nature, go hiking and enjoy spring fun. In addition to China, there are also some countries and regions in the world, such as Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and so on, which also celebrate this festival.


Origin of Qingming Festival
It is said that the Qingming Festival was originally to honor a loyal man named Jie Zitui who lived during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). Jie Zitui cut a piece of meat from his leg to save his hungry master, Chong Er. After 19 years, Chong Er became a king and forgot about the assistance.  Later he felt ashamed and decided to reward him. However, Jie Zitui and his mother shut themselves up in the mountains. In order to find out Jie Zhitui, Chong Er  set the mountain on fire. Later, Jie Zitui was found dead with his mother. To commemorate Jie Zitui, Chong Er  named the day he died the Cold Food Festival, a day when only cold food could be eaten, and the next day Qingming Festival.


Customs of Tomb Sweeping Day
Tomb Sweeping and Ancestor Honoring

TombSweeping Festival is a good time to cherish the memory of the ancestors and to sort out the surrounding areas of the tombs. According to tradition, people will prepare some wine, fruits and food. The paper money of the underworld was burned as an offering. The graves were cleaned and placed with green branches or flowers, and people bowed to their passed families. After the ceremony, people eat all the food and pay their respects to their loved ones before going home.
 
 
Spring Outing
It is not only a day to remember the dead, but also a day for people to enjoy themselves. In March, everything takes on a new look,  trees turning green, flowers blooming and the sun shining brightly. It's a good time to go out and enjoy the beauty of nature. So tourists can be seen everywhere during the festival.


Play Cuju
Playing Cuju (Chinese football) was one of people's favorite games on this day. This is an ancient ball game in Chinese history,  a bit like today's football game, where a few people kick the ball into the net but are not allowed to touch it with their hands during the game. Cuju is considered as the earliest evidence in recorded history to date that people played with balls in ancient times, leading to the invention of modern football. It is said that Cuju was invented by the Yellow Emperor to train his warriors. At the same time, polo is also popular on TombSweeping Day.


Flying a Kite
Flying Kite is also a popular activity on TombSweeping Day. On this day of the year, people like to go out and fly kites with their loved ones. This tradition continues to this day. And in history, people would even fly kites at night, with a few lovely lanterns lit on the strings. It would be an amazing sight, as if many new bright stars were hanging in the sky with those exquisite kites. Some people also cut the string . By doing so, people believe that all their troubles can be solved.

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