Observing Tomb Sweeping Day (清明节), the Spring Festival of Remembrance
On the 104th day after the winter solstice, communities across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia observe Qingming Festival (清明节 or 清明節), also known as Tomb Sweeping Day.
A bittersweet day for many, families observe the holiday as a time to honor deceased loved ones as well as celebrate the arrival of spring. On Qingming, people visit their ancestors’ grave sites to sweep the tombs, place offerings of food and drink, burn joss papers and say prayers to remember the departed.
Literally translating to “clear bright festival,” the holiday also marks the period on the East Asian lunisolar calendar when the atmosphere becomes clear and bright, the weather warms and signs of spring start appearing. In addition to the commemoration activities, it is also a time for families to go out for picnics, enjoy kite-flying or start spring plowing to take advantage of the coming agricultural season.