I have almost forgotten today is the Tomb Sweeping Day to the Chinese people.
I was reminded of the festival today when I read that the Chinese families of Chinese passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are still hopeful.
Tomb Sweeping Day is also known as the Qing Ming Festival 清明节, literally Clear Bright Festival (Qīng Míng Jié – pronunciation of ‘q’ is close to ‘ch’. Qīng 清 － is also the last imperial dynasty of China).
Today the Chinese people clean and sweep the graves of their loved ones, worship and honour their ancestors. People also gather to mourn war victims and heroic martyrs. The Chinese offer sacrifices to the deceased, burn paper money or replicas of luxury items.
It is a national holiday (extended to next Monday) in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
In this post, I’m sharing with you images from Yellow, a photographer in Taiwan. He wrote that when he was a child, he did not appreciate the tomb sweeping rituals. However as he grows older, he feels that it is a precious day for family reunion with many generations and to show gratitude to his ancestors.
Yellow took the pictures in March 2012 in Taichung City of Taiwan.
Tomb Sweeping Day is celebrated on the fifth solar term of the Chinese calendar, on the 104th day after the winter solstice. It usually occurs around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar.
From now, temperature will rise, and rainfall increases. Gardeners start spring plowing and sowing.
The Qing Ming festival is a festival of commemoration. The day is juxtaposed with sadness and joy. Traditionally, Qing Ming is the best time for spring outing.
Swinging and kite flying are extremely popular on this particular day. In the past, once the kites were high in the sky, people would cut off the string, so that the kites would take away misfortune and illness.
MH370 is still missing. To the families of the Chinese passengers on board MH370, the Tomb Sweeping Day is painful. Without the truth, they could not even start mourning.