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Qingming Festival Outings in China

The Qingming Festival, also called Tomb-sweeping Festival, is a traditional Chinese celebration. It falls on April 4. People will enjoy a public holiday from April 2 to April 4. Qingming (Pure brightness) Festival is also one of the 24 seasonal division points in China. After the festival, the temperature will rise up and rainfall increases. It is the high time for spring plowing and sowing. And it is also a time for people to commemorate the deceased relatives and ancestors, and hold various outing activities.

The main activities include tomb sweeping, taking a spring outing, wearing willow branches on the head, riding on swings, playing Chinese football, polo, tug-of-war, and flying kites. The festival is therefore a combination of sadness and happiness.

Tomb Sweeping is regarded as the most important custom in the Qingming Festival from which the name of Tomb-sweeping Day is got. Cleaning the tomb and paying respect to the dead person with offerings are the two important parts of remembering the past relatives. Today, with cremation taking over from burying, the custom has been extremely simplified in cities. Only flowers are presented to the dead relatives and revolutionary martyrs.

“Spring Outing” means going out to appreciate the beautiful scenes of nature. In ancient time, Chinese people called this activity “Stepping-the-green". This custom can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and followed by each dynasty later till today.