Monday, April 5, 2010

Qingming , the special Clear Bright Festival of China

 Qing Ming Festival ,  falls on the first day of the fifth solar term, normal around 5th Apr each year.  Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery") and tend to the graves of departed ones.

Also named Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day , Qingming Festival originated more than 2,500 years.   Its origin is credited to the Tang Emperor Xuanzong in 732. Wealthy citizens in China were reportedly holding too many extravagant and ostentatiously expensive ceremonies in honour of their ancestors. Emperor Xuanzong, seeking to curb this practice, declared that respects could be formally paid at ancestors' graves only on Qingming. The observance of Qingming found a firm place in Chinese culture and continued uninterrupted for over two millennia.

Lots of culture in history involved in Qingming Festival ,  the most famous one is probably Du Mu's poem (simply titled "Qingming"):



qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn

A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;



lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún

The mourner's heart is breaking on his way



jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu

Where can a winehouse be found to drown his sadness?



mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn

A cowherd points to Almond Flower (Xing Hua) Village in the distance

This is taken as one of the best poem in Chinese History.

Along the River During Qingming Festival  , the most valuable and famous painting reflecting Song Dynasty , around 1000. Even now scientists are interested in the site in the painting to study the sophistcated life at that time.  Zhang Zeduan , the painter was also , regarded as one of the best in Chinese history.

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