China’s Tomb-sweeping Festival (清明节)

For more photos from the Qingming Festival, check out the hashtags for #qingming, #清明节 and #清明.

104 days after the winter solstice, communities in China, Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia observe Qingming Festival (清明节), a bittersweet holiday that commemorates deceased family members and celebrates the coming spring season.

People celebrate Qingming by paying visits to their ancestors’ grave sites where they sweep the tombs and bring offerings of food or burning joss paper. Picnics, outdoor strolls and kite-flying are also common on this day as people take in the emerging greenery of the season.

The festival was first officially observed in the Tang Dynasty under Emperor Xuanzhong in 732 CE, and has been a consistent part of Chinese art and culture ever since.