The Qingming Holiday is coming up next weekend, and people around China are getting ready to travel once more. The holiday, known as the Tomb Sweeping Holiday in English, is one of many celebrations and traditions. So what is this festival all about?
The festival originates in a Chinese legend. The legend tells that the holiday commemorates a humble and loyal man who saved a duke who was starving while in exile. The duke vowed to reward the man, but once the duke rose to power, he forgot. Once he remembered, the duke was ashamed, and decided to seek him out.
The man had hidden away in a forest, and so the duke ordered the forest to be burned down in order to find him, but the man died from the fire. Later, the duke visited the man’s tomb and found that the burnt willow tree by his grave was revived and growing with new leaves.
Qingming is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture, and there are many customs associated with it, including flying kites and playing on swings.
The main tradition is tomb sweeping, and many people will visit the graves of their ancestors and relatives during the holiday to lay down fresh flowers, pull weeds, and pay their respects. Other customs include lighting incense, burning joss paper, bringing offerings, and praying.
Willow trees sprout at the start of Qingming, so they are important symbols during the holiday. It is common to decorate with willow branches to ward off evil spirits.
Traditional Qingming foods include sweet green rice balls, also known as qing tuan (青团), peach blossom porridge, and Qingming cakes.
While Qingming may seem like a sorrowful holiday, it is also a celebration of rebirth and springtime. Many people will go on spring outings and excursions to enjoy the fresh air, warmer weather, and blooming flowers.
Haven’t planned your Qingming spring outing yet? Check out some last minute Travelers Society trips for the upcoming holiday.
This holiday excursion is all about taking an awesome trek along buddhist temples, sleeping in a monastery, checking out beautiful meadows and mountain scenery, and more! Get ready for some buddhist culture.
Price: 1499 RMB
Last chance – book now!
This holiday excursion is all about taking an awesome trek through Shennonjia’s beautiful mountain forests (famous for their biodiversity), finding a sea of clouds, camping under the stars, maybe meeting Bigfoot ;), and more! The trek is a total of 48 km (summit at 2936 m) with 2 nights camping! Get ready for some spectacular nature.
Price: 3799 RMB
Last chance – book now!