A well-known poem by Tang Dynasty writer Du Mu tells of a sad scene in early April:
A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day.
The mourner's heart is going to break on his way.
Where can a wineshop be found to drown his sad hours?
A cowherd points to the distant hamlet nestling amidst apricot blossoms.
Qingming Day, the traditional tomb-sweeping day, falls on April 4-6 each year. It is a time for remembering ones who have departed. People visit their ancestors' graves to sweep away the dirt.
Tomb-sweeping Day is one of the 24 seasonal division points in China，a traditional Chinese festival, also the most important day of sacrifice. The day is for sacrificing the dead and sweeping tombs for ancestors, Both the Han and minority ethnic groups, which is called Shangfen in common society.On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. People bring food, paper money and flowers to the cemeteries. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offer food, flowers to the dead, then burn incense and paper money and bow before the memorial tablet.
It origin dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period. Jin prince Chong'er ran away from the country with his supporters due to persecution. They were homeless for 19 years and situation got so bad that Chong'er began to starve to death. One of the prince's faithful followers, Jie Zitui, cut a piece of muscle from his own leg and served it to his master, which saved Chong’er’s life. In 636 BC, he took back the throne. He rewarded the officials who had stayed loyal to him but he only forgot about Jie Zitui. By the time Chong'er remembered him, the heartbroken Jie Zitui had traveled deep into the mountains. Chong'er wanted to persuade Jie to come back to him, so he set fire on the hills. But Jie was later found beside a large tree, with his old mother on his back. Both were dead. Saddened by the tragedy, Chong'er visited Jie Zitui's tomb on the day every year to pay his respects and regrets.
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Tag:清明节、传统节日、祭祖、扫墓、介子推 Tomb-sweeping Day，a traditional Chinese festival， sacrificing the dead， sweeping tombs，Jie Zitui