Qingming Festival

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(Redirected from Qing Ming Jie)

The Qingming Festival or Qing Ming Jie (Chinese: 清明節; English name used in Hong Kong: Ching Ming Festival; pinyin: qīng mng ji), literally Pure Brightness Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival on the 106th day after the winter solstice, occurring on April 4 (leap years) or April 5 (other years) of the Gregorian calendar (see Chinese calendar). It marks the middle of spring and above all, a sacred day of the dead. It is not an official public holiday in the mainland China but it is in the Republic of China on Taiwan, as well as in the Chinese SARs, Hong Kong and Macau.

Missing image
Ching_Ming_comforts_to_heaven.png
family burning paper gifts


Burning paper gifts for the departed.

The holiday is also known by a number of other names in the English language:

  • All Souls Day (not to be confused with the Roman Catholic holiday, All Souls Day, of the same name)
  • Clear Brightness Festival
  • Festival for Tending Graves
  • Grave Sweeping Day
  • Tomb Sweeping Day

Tomb Sweeping Day is the most common English translation and is used in several English language newspapers published in the Republic of China.

For the Chinese, it is a day to remember and honour one's ancestors. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food and libation to the ancestors. The rites are very important to most Chinese and especially farmers.

The April Fifth Movement and the Tiananmen Incident were major events involving Qing Ming Jie that took place in the history of the People's Republic of China. When Premier Zhou Enlai passed away in 1976, thousands visited him during the festival to pay respect. In the Republic of China, April 5th coincides with the passing of Chiang Kai-shek and the date is designated as a national holiday.

On a note, the overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Malaysia also practice this custom. However the practice is in decline in these regions.

See also

zh:清明节

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