|Official name||Qingming Jie|
(TC: 清明節, SC:清明节)
|Also called||Tomb Sweeping Day|
All Souls Day
|Observed by||Chinese Buddhists, Taoists, Chinese folk religion believers|
|Significance||Remembering past ancestors|
|Date||15th day from the Spring Equinox|
Apr. Chinese Buddhism ( Pinyin fójiào refers collectively to the various schools of Buddhism that have flourished in China proper since ancient times Taoism (pronounced /ˈdaʊɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊɪzəm/ also spelled '''Daoism''') refers to a variety of related Philosophical and Religious traditions Chinese folk religion is a collective label given to various folkloric beliefs that draws heavily from Chinese mythology. 4th or Apr. 5th
|2008 date||April 4|
|Observances||Cleaning and sweeping of graves, Ancestor worship, offering food to deceased, burning joss paper|
The Qingming Festival (traditional Chinese: 清明節; simplified Chinese: 清明节; pinyin: Qīngmíngjié, Vietnamese language: Tết Thanh Minh), meaning Clear and Bright Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice (or the 15th day from the Spring Equinox), usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar (see Chinese calendar). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use Vietnamese ( tiếng Việt, or less commonly Việt ngữ) formerly known under French colonization as Annamese ( see Annam) The Traditional Chinese holidays have been part of Chinese tradition for thousands of years they are an essential part of Chinese culture. The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 Solar terms (節氣 Events 456 - St Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary bishop The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used Calendar in the world today The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, incorporating elements of a Lunar calendar with those of a Solar calendar. Every leap year, Qing Ming is on April 4. Astronomically, it is also a solar term (See Qingming). A solar term is one of 24 points in traditional East Asian Lunisolar calendars that matches a particular astronomical event or signifies some natural phenomenon In solar terms, the Qingming festival is on the 1st day of the 5th solar term, which is also named Qingming. Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery"), and also to tend to the graves of departed ones. It is an official public holiday in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Lists of holidays The words holiday or vacation have related meanings in different English-speaking countries and continents but will usually refer to one of Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. Hong Kong ( officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a territory located on China 's south coast on the Pearl River Delta, and borders For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Macau topics. Prior to 2008, the holiday was not official in the People's Republic of China since the Communist Party of China classified it as superstition. Talk People's Republic of China) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES The Communist Party of China ( CPC) ( also known as the Chinese Communist Party ( CCP) is the founding and ruling political party of the Superstition ( Latin superstitio, literally "standing over" derived perhaps from standing in awe used in Latin as a unreasonable or excessive belief  It was officially celebrated as a public holiday for the first time on April 4, 2008. 
The transcription of the term Qingming may appear in a number of different forms, some of which are:
The holiday is also known by a number of other names in the English language:
Tomb Sweeping Day and Clear Brightness Festival are the most common English translations of Qingming Festival. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States In Western Christianity, All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed. Tomb Sweeping Day is used in several English language newspapers published in the Republic of China. REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARTICLE GUIDELINES
For the Chinese, it is a day to remember and honour one's ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, (joss) paper accessories, and/or libation to the ancestors. The rites are very important to most Chinese and especially farmers. Some people carry willow branches with them on Qingming, or put willow branches on their gates and/or front doors. They think that willow branches help ward off the evil ghosts that wander on Qingming. Also on Qingming, people go on family outings, start the spring plowing, sing, dance, and Qingming is a time where young couples start courting. Another popular thing to do is fly kites (in shapes of animals, or characters from Chinese opera).
The April Fifth Movement and the Tiananmen Incident were major events on Qingming that took place in the history of the People's Republic of China. The Tiananmen Incident ( Sìwǔ Tiān'ānmén shìjiàn, "April 5 Tian'anmen Incident" took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square The Tiananmen Incident ( Sìwǔ Tiān'ānmén shìjiàn, "April 5 Tian'anmen Incident" took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of Mainland China since October 1, 1949, when after a near complete victory When Premier Zhou Enlai died in 1976, thousands visited him during the festival to pay respect. Zhou Enlai ( (5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976 was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from 1949 until his death in January 1976 In the Republic of China, April 4th coincides with the passing of Chiang Kai-shek and the date is designated as a national holiday. Events 1581 - Francis Drake completes a circumnavigation of the world and is knighted by Elizabeth I. Chiang Kai-shek ( POJ: Chiúⁿ Kài-se̍k Jyutping: zoeng2gaai3sek6 GCB ( October 31, 1887 &ndash List of Holidays and festivals observed in Republic of China ( Taiwan)
On a note, the overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Malaysia also practice this custom. Singapore For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and However the practice is in decline in these regions.
Hanshi, the day before Qingming, was created by Chong'er, the Duke Wen of the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period when he accidentally killed his personal friend and servant Jie Zhitui (介之推) (or Jie Zitui) and his mother in a fireblaze in the hope of making him return to him (Chong'er). The Cold Food Festival is a Traditional Chinese holiday celebrated for three consecutive days starting the day before the Qingming Festival in the Chinese Calendar Duke Wen of Jin (晉文公 (697 BC - 628 BC led the state of Jin in the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history from 636 BC to 628 BC Jin ( Traditional Chinese: 晉 Simplified Chinese: 晋 Pinyin: Jìn was one of the most powerful states in the Spring and Autumn Period The Spring and Autumn Period ( was a period in Chinese history which roughly corresponds to the first half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (from the second half of the 8th century BC On Hanshi, people were not allowed to use fires to heat up food, thus nicknaming it the Cold Food Festival. Eventually, 300 years ago, the Hanshi "celebration" was combined with the Qingming festival, but later abandoned by most people.
Qingming itself was created by the Tang Emperor Xuanzong in 732. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by Emperor Xuanzong of Tang ( ( September 8, 685 Background Li Longji was born at the Tang Dynasty eastern capital Luoyang It is said that because the wealthy held too many expensive, elaborate ancestor-worshipping ceremonies, in a needed effort to lower this expense, Emperor Xuanzong declared that respects could be formally paid at ancestor's graves only on Qingming.
The Qingming festival holiday has a lot of significance in Chinese Tea culture since this specific day divides the fresh green teas by their picking dates. Green teas made from leaves picked before this date are given the prestigious 'pre-qingming' or 'mingqian' designation which commands a much higher price tag. The teas of course are also prized for having much lighter and subtler aromas than those picked after the festival .
The famous Qingming scroll by Zhang Zeduan is an ancient Chinese painting which portrays the scene of Kaifeng city, the capital of Song Dynasty during Qingming period. Zhang Zeduan ( (1085-1145 AD alias Zheng Dao was a famous Chinese painter during the twelfth century during the transitional period from the Northern Song to the Southern Kaifeng ( formerly known as Bianliang ( Bianjing ( Daliang ( or simply Liang ( is a Prefecture-level city in eastern The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
Qingming was frequently mentioned in Chinese literature. Chinese literature extends back thousands of years from the earliest recorded dynastic court Archives to the mature fictional Novel that arose during the Ming Dynasty Among these, the most famous one is probably Du Mu's poem (simply titled "Qingming"):
|Traditional Chinese||Simplified Chinese||pinyin|
|清明時節雨紛紛||清明时节雨纷纷||qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn|
|路上行人欲斷魂||路上行人欲断魂||lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún|
|借問酒家何處有||借问酒家何处有||jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu|
|牧童遙指杏花村||牧童遥指杏花村||mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn|
A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;
The mourner's heart is breaking on his way. Du Mu ( 803—852 was a leading realistic Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use
Where can Winehouse be found to drown his sadness?
A cowherd points to Xing Hua village in the distance.
In the Vietnamese epic poem The Tale of Kieu, Qingming is also mentioned as the occasion where the protagonist Kieu meets a ghost of a dead old lady. Vietnamese literature is Literature, both oral and written created largely by Vietnamese-speaking people although Francophone Vietnamese and English-speaking Vietnamese The Tale of Kiều is an epic Poem in Vietnamese written by the 18th century writer Nguyễn Du (1766–1820 widely regarded The lines describing the sceneries during this festival remain some of the most well-known lines in Vietnamese literature:
Ngày xuân con én đưa thoi
Thiều quang chín chục đã ngoài sáu mươi
Cỏ non xanh tận chân trời
Cành lê trắng điểm một vài bông hoa
Thanh Minh trong tiết tháng ba
Lễ là Tảo mộ, hội là Đạp thanh
Gần xa nô nức yến oanh
Chị em sắm sửa bộ hành chơi xuân
Swift swallows and spring days were shuttling by
of ninety radiant ones three score had fled.
Young grass spread all its green to heaven's rim;
some blossoms marked pear branches with white dots.
Now came the Feast of Light in the third month
with graveyard rites and junkets on the green.
As merry pilgrims flocked from near and far,
the sisters and their brother went for a stroll.