We don’t get many holidays in China, so you gotta make the most of them when they arrive. Today is Qingming Day (also called Tomb Sweeping Day), an ancient holiday in which you are meant to remember, and pay respects to, your ancestors.
It’s getting harder and harder to do any actual tomb sweeping on tomb sweeping day. These days more and more actual graves have been relocated orÂ removedÂ entirely, for the ever growing real estate craze. Also, unless you live in your family’s hometown, you probably don’t even have an ancestors tomb near you. So it’s just an excuse to have a couple of days off.
And what a day it was. QingmingÂ literallyÂ means clear brightness and today was truly clear and bright. It was beautiful. Blue skies, and quick breeze, shining sun. It was one of the most perfect days we’ve had in awhile. My school functions as a sort of park for the city folk, and they were out in droves today. Flying kites, eating snacks, playing ball.
Of course that many kites in the air did pose a few problems for those on the ground. Crossed strings, kites tangled up in trees, people getting hit by falling kites. We saw it all today.
Since we are in southern China, where temperatures are about to rise to 100 plus degrees, you have to enjoy the nice days while you have them. Qingming is also celebrated near the spring equinox and is a celebration of natures rebirth and beauty. Trees are blooming, birds are singing, and everyone walked with a lighter step as only those who have been freezing for the past several months can. A walk around the campus showed spring has arrived in all it’s glory.
Happy Qingming day everyone! And as you’re respecting the dead make sure to respect the living as well. Take some time to go out and get some fresh air, and enjoy the coming spring.