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Qingming festival celebrated across China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, April 5, 2013
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The Qingming Festival, or "Tomb Sweeping Day" to many. It falls on April the 4th this year. It is a day when Chinese remember their departed loved ones and embrace the springtime scenery. People are celebrating in traditional and creative ways across China this year.

Here at the Beijing Confucius temple, a traditional veneration service is being carried out. It is an age-old tradition for people to pay tribute to the Chinese sage during Qingming festival.

Wu Zhiyou, Beijing Confucian Temple & Imperial College, said, "The ritual itself is simple, but it is of huge emotional impact to everyone here. That’s the beauty of Confucian culture."

The Qingming festival has more than 2,500 years of history. It originated from grave sweeping practises for the royal household. It was gradually adopted by the masses and is now integrated with Confucian culture.

Meanwhile, here at the Yu Huangling cemetery in the city of Zibo in Shangdong province people are remembering the departed by playing the favourite songs of their loved ones.

Mr. Zuo, a local resident, said, "I think this is a good way to remember the departed, the music is very soothing and it helps us relax and not get all emotional, this is especially helpful when elders are here, since they tend to behave more grievously."

The remembrance concert is also environmentally friendly as it eliminates the burning of incense.

The Cherry Blossom Festival has been going on for over 20 years here, and is now an integral part of Qingming celebrations in Beijing.

Apart from the 180 cherry trees here, people also come for traditional group dancing and snacks.

Speaking of snacks, residents in the city of Laizhou in Shandong province still retain a hundred year old snack-related tradition.

Zhu Fengqin, a Laizhou resident, said, "It’s a custom of Laizhou to make swallows like these out of dough during the Qingming festival. We do it because when swallows fly back from the north, it means spring is here."

Making one of these is a complicated procedure, after moulding the dough into shape, they then carefully decorate it in precise detail.

But people here agree that it is worth the trouble to celebrate the renewal of all things at spring.



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