清明节 (Qīngmíng Jié), the Tomb Sweeping Festival, is today! Celebrated for more than 2500 years, the festival is for honoring and remembering family members who have passed away.
People will go to the graveyards of their ancestors, bringing food or flowers and “sweep” (fancy English translation meaning “clean and take care of”) the tombs after the long winter, preparing them for spring and summer.
There used to be no public holiday for this, but since 2009 people have had three days off. It’s a good opportunity to get the family together and to get out of the city, since the tombs are often in the countryside. A famous Táng Dynasty poem about Qīngmíng Jié reads:
“Drizzle falls endlessly as Qīngmíng comes
Passersby on their way to sacrifice go with sentimental mood
When asked where the tavern for drinking down sorrows is
The shepherd boy points to a distant hamlet
Nestling amidst apricot blossoms.”
Nice and clean for the summer! Tuxi Online