Introduction of traditional festivals in China-Tomb-Sweeping Day

    Qingming-It means sunny weather, fresh and clean air, gradual warming and lush vegetation. The Gregorian calendar is about April 5 every year for Qingming. Qingming is the fifth of the 24 solar terms. The ancient book "Questions at the Age of 100" said: "Everything grows up to this time, all clean and bright, so it is called Qingming." Qingming Festival is not only an important farming season, but also the only solar term among the 24 solar terms that has evolved into a folk festival, so it is also called Tomb-Sweeping Day.

    The traditional Tomb-Sweeping Day in China began in the Zhou Dynasty and has a history of more than 2,500 years. Qingming Festival is a very important solar term at first. As soon as Qingming Festival arrives, the temperature rises, which is a good season for spring ploughing and spring planting. Therefore, there is a saying that "before and after Qingming Festival, melons and beans are planted". The agricultural proverb "Planting trees is better than Qingming". Later, as the days of Qingming and cold food approached, and cold food was the day when people banned fire from sweeping graves, gradually, cold food and Qingming became one, and cold food became another name of Qingming and a custom of Qingming. On Qingming, no fireworks were used, only cold food was eaten.

    Tomb-Sweeping Day, also called March Festival in ancient times, is one of the 24 solar terms. Among the 24 solar terms, Qingming is the only one that is both a solar term and a festival.

    Origin of Tomb-Sweeping Day During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, it is a festival of Han nationality in China, and it is one of the 24 solar terms in China, and the time is around April 5 of the solar calendar every year. After Tomb-Sweeping Day, the rain increased, and the earth showed the image of spring and tranquility. At this time, everything "spits out the old and absorbs the new", whether it is the vegetation in nature or the human body coexisting with nature, at this time, it changes the filth of winter, welcomes the breath of spring and realizes the transformation from yin to yang. 

    In ancient times, it was said that the day before Qingming Festival was the "Cold Food Festival". According to legend, it began in the Spring and Autumn Period when Jin Wengong mourned meson’s "cutting stocks to satisfy hunger", and then gradually Qingming Cold Food became one. The date of grave sweeping in Tang Dynasty was generally in Cold Food Festival, and it was moved to Qingming after Song Dynasty. Legend has it that the origin of "Cold Food Festival" is Jiexiu in the middle of Shanxi Province. The origin of Jiexiu is to commemorate meson’s "cutting stocks to satisfy hunger" and not to repay it, and finally he died here in Yamakaji, so Mianshan is also called "Jieshan".

    According to legend, after Dayu’s flood control, people used the language of "Qingming" to celebrate that the flood had been eliminated and the world was at peace. At this time, spring blossoms, everything recovers, and the sky is clear and bright, which is a good time for a spring outing. Going for an outing began as early as the Tang Dynasty, and it has become a habit through the ages. In addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains and spring scenery, we also carry out various recreational activities to increase the interest of life. 

  custom Grave-sweeping is popular in Tomb-Sweeping Day, but it is actually the content of the Cold Food Festival in Tomb-Sweeping Day the day before. It is said that cold food originated from Jin Wengong’s mourning for Jiezhi. In the twentieth year of the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, he ordered the world to "eat cold food to the grave". Because the cold food was connected with Qingming, it was gradually spread to tomb sweeping in Qingming. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, tomb sweeping was more popular. In ancient times, children often flew kites when sweeping graves. Some kites are equipped with bamboo flutes, which can make a sound when the wind blows, just like the sound of a kite. It is said that this is how the kite got its name. 

    There are many lost customs in Tomb-Sweeping Day, such as wearing willows, shooting willows and swinging, which have been circulating for a long time in ancient times. According to records, the customs in Liao Dynasty were the heaviest in Tomb-Sweeping Day, and the people from the imperial court down to the common people enjoyed swinging, and the ladies gathered, and the wind of outing was also extremely prosperous. 

    After the founding of New China, people pay homage to the martyrs’ tombs on this day to remember the revolutionary ancestors.

Editor: Chen Chang ‘e