More information on the Qingming Festival  
The Tale of Tomb Sweeping Day  
The Qingming Festival usually falls in April in the solar calendar. At the very beginning, it was a very important solar term. The weather gradually turns nice after the Qingming Festival. Having undergone constant evolvement, the day has become a festival for the Chinese people to commemorate their ancestors. The Chinese people now prefer to choose Qingming as the tomb sweeping day. With the concept of environmental protection deeply rooted among the general public, it is now a trend to have an environmental-friendly tomb sweeping day, such as carrying out public memorial ceremony, public commemoration through the Internet, etc.

The Qingming Festival is the most important day for people to offer sacrifice to ancestors. It started from the Zhou Dynasty, with a history of over 2500 years. Qingming is one of the 24 solar terms in China, indicating the coming of late spring, thus the best plowing and growing time, while "Cold Food Day" is a day when folks sweep the ancestors' tombs and eat cold food. Qingming was adjacent to Cold Food Day, so later on they gradually became one festival, and thus "Cold Food" became another name for Qingming, and dusting the tomb and eating cold food turned into the customs of the day. Qingming has evolved into a festival carrying rich culture and profound meaning.

  Since the ancient times, there have been a lot of works of art and poems about Qingming, manifesting the emphasis and passing-on of the Chinese people on Qingming. Of these, Tomb Sweeping Day by Du Mu in the Tang Dynasty is a poem of household fame.

Qingming by Du Mu


杜牧《清明》
Qingming by Du Mu

清明时节雨纷纷,路上行人欲断魂。
The rain flies heavily as Qingming draws, move sadly along the way the passengers;
借问酒家何处有,牧童遥指杏花村。
I wanna know where the tavern is, He points at a distant hamlet nestling amidst apricot blossoms.

Qingming Festival is also a festival
for various sports.
Since people with weak constitutions might get hurt by eating cold raw food on Qingming, when the weather is still cold, various activities were invented for body-building, like taqing (stepping-the-green outing), swing, Cuju (Chinese football), polo, willow-planting, tug-of-war, and rooster-fighting, etc.
The Chinese usually sweep tombs and fly kites on this day. It is said that in this way people will also be protected from bad luck and diseases?/td>
Swing Cuju Kites Shuttlecock Kicking
Sweet Green Rice Balls (Qing Tuan)
The sweet green rice ball is a Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) food popular in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. It is also a must-have offering at ancestral rituals in the south of the Yangtze River. The custom of making sweet green rice balls dates back to the Zhou Dynasty over 2,000 years ago. One or two days before the Qingming Festival were designated as "cold food days", during which hot cooking is banned.
More about Sweet Green Rice Balls