清明节 2014 – Honor Your Ancestors

Qing Ming 2014 – Qingming 2014 – 清明节 2014.

It’s Tomb-Sweeping Day

Qing Ming 2014

On this day every year families clean the tombs of their ancestors.

Qing Ming or Tomb Sweeping Day always falls on the 5th solar term – April 4 or April 5. In fact, Qing Ming occurs on 104th day after the Chinese winter solstice.

The festival honors the memory of Jie Zitui, who sacrificed part of himself to save his master in 600 BCE.  Read the story (its kinda gruesome) here.

The festival has an ancient history.  One of China’s most famous paintings is Qingming Shanghe tu, or Life Along the River at Qingming, from the Song Dynasty (12th century).  The full scroll is 5.28m long; this is a portion of it:

Qing Ming 2014 - Qingming 2014 - 清明节 2014

Today people clean the graves, leave offerings of food, and burn (fake) paper money as gifts for the ancestors.  They also fly kites.

Not your ordinary kites, either.

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