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Observing Tomb Sweeping Day – China Focus

China is one of the most affluent countries in terms of culture. Some of their contemporary celebrations have a history of 3000 years. That proves that Chinese people have close ties with their traditions. They value it as much as other social norms or values.

One of the most prevalent cultures that endured the test of time is the 24 solar terms. Before, they used this calendar as an agricultural guide. However, in the modern world, they use it as means of remembrance and celebration. That is why today, we will explore one of 24 solar terms: 清明 (Qīng Míng).

It is always raining during Qingming Festival  - From Chinese poem Qingming Festival
Chinese poem – Qingming Festival

1. Abstract of Tomb Sweeping Day

Chinese people always have deep ties with their spiritual selves. Since time immemorial, people around China sought spiritual fulfillment and health. Consequently, they give incredible importance to spiritual celebrations.

清明 (Qīng Míng) is one of these celebrations. It is a spiritual event that dates back to the ancient civilization of Zhou.

Initially, 清明 (Qīng Míng) has no connection with Tomb-sweeping day. However, as time progressed, the two celebrations merged forming the contemporary celebration.

Now, people celebrate Qing ming and Tomb-sweeping day together. They call it the Tomb-sweeping Day 清明节 (Qīng Míng Jié).

2. Different Aspects of This Festival

Tomb-sweeping Day 清明节 (Qīng Míng Jié) is a celebration as old as time. It originated from the ancient beliefs of the Chinese people. It is a gesture of remembrance, an act of retrospect and paying respect to the ones who have already passed. However, Tomb-sweeping Day 清明节 (Qīng Míng Jié) is not a sad celebration. There’s more to it than merely cleaning up tombs. People also spend this day going on vacations with their families. Others take a picnic in places close to nature. Some fly their kites. Most merely go out and enjoy the assuaging zeal of spring. 

Qing Ming is also one of the celebrations that have retained its popularity. In ancient times, literary figures often compose pieces to commemorate the Qingming Festival 清明 (Qīng Míng). Among them is Du Mu 杜牧 (Dù Mù).

In his poem “Qingming Festival 《清明》 (Qīng Míng),” he stated that

 “It is raining during Qingming Festival 清明 (Qīng Míng), pedestrians on the road are so sad that their souls seem to be out of the body. I ask a person where there is a restaurant, a shepherd boy points to a village whose name is Apricot Flower Village 杏花村 (Xìng Huā Cūn).”

3. Climate During Qingming Festival 清明 (Qīng Míng)

Because Qing ming occurs during Spring, the climate is generally bright and warm. During this time, every living thing prospers; vitality at its finest. The Yin qi 阴气 (Yīn qì) is receding. The new will finally replace the old. Flowers will bloom, new buds will grow, and life will be brand new. 

There are many customs during Qingming Festival 清明节 (Qīng Míng Jié). As the name implies, the central activity is Tomb-sweeping and offerings. Families will gather and go to the tombstone of their relatives in another realm. They will tidy up the tombstone and offer an offering. The practice showcases the deep familial ties of Chinese people. It is also an act of remembrance that promotes the identity of the family and the nation.  

Qingming Festival 清明节 (Qīng Míng Jié) is a festival that celebrates spiritual connection. IT represents the unity of heaven, earth, and man. It fully embodies the Chinese ancestors’ pursuit of the harmony of “heaven, earth and man.”

However, in addition to cleaning tombs, retrospect, and contemplation, people also do typical things during this festival. People like to fly kites, go out, eat with the family, and do other interesting activities during Qingming Festival 清明 (Qīng Míng).

4. Explain the knowledge points

清明 (Qīng Míng): Qingming or Pure Brightness, 5th of the 24 solar terms, Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day (in early April)​, clear and bright, sober and calm, (of a government or administration)​ well ordered.

清 (qīng): the first tone, clear, pure, clean, peaceful

明 (míng): the second tone, bright, light, brilliant, clear


Qīng míng shì èr shí sì jié qì zhī yī.

清    明  是 二十四 节气之 一。

Qingming is one of the 24 solar terms.

Qīng míng jié yǒu jì zǔ sǎo mù de xí sú.

清   明   节有 祭祖 扫  墓 的习俗。

Qingming Festival has the custom of worshiping ancestors and sweeping tombs.


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