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This year Qingming Festival fell on the same weekend as Easter, so we got to celebrate the resurrection of our saviour over three days. The rest of China, was however, going about a completely different tradition. The Qingming Festival, also known simply as Qingming, or Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either on the 4th or 5th of April in a given year.
The festival is called Qīngmíng Jié literally meaning “Pure Brightness Festival” or “Clear and Bright Festival”. As the name suggests, this is a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery for springtime, but it is mostly noted for its connection with the tending of family graves. Qingming Festival is when Chinese people visit graves or burial grounds to pray to their ancestors. Young and old sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, and paper accessories to the ancestors. This is a long standing tradition in Asia, especially among farmers. Some people carry willow branches with them on Qingming or put follow branches on their gates and/or front doors. They believe that willow branches help ward off the evil spirit that wanders on Qingming.