Qingming Festival is one of the popular festivals held in China. On your China Tour, you may get the privilege of seeing the Qingming Festival. You can plan your trip through China Travel today. Qingming is also known as the Tomb Sweeping Day or Pure Brightness and falls on April 5 of the Chinese calendar. When it all began, the festival served as a representation of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese calendar, marking the exact day the sun is at the celestial longitude of fifteen degrees. The tomb-sweeping day is a very popular day in the Chinese culture. It is a way of both offering sacrifice as well as showing respect to ancestors.

Qingming Festival originated from the fight over royalty succession in the Jin states during the time of the spring and autumn period. Prince Chong’er, the survivor, faced a nineteen-year exile with his followers. One of the followers named Jie Zhitui, cut a piece of his flesh and cooked it to save the prince from starvation. When the prince realized what Jie had done for him, he promised to reward him.

After nineteen years had passed, Prince Chong’er and his followers returned back to kingdom, there he became the Duke Wen of the Jin State. Although he rewarded his followers, he forgot the extraordinary sacrifice Jie had done to save his life.  When he finally remembered, the Prince felt really bad and made many attempts to find Jie in order to reward him as promised. Being a noble man, Jie tie refused to see the Prince because he did not like the idea of being rewarded for his good deeds. Jie fled to the mountain to stay with his mother in order to escape the visit of the prince.

Duke Wen heard of his where about and ordered the mountain to be burned in order to force Jie to come out. Upon burning the mountain, the Duke found to dead bodies, which were Jie’s and his mothers.  In honor of Jie, the Duke buried him and his mother with utmost respect and ordered his followers not to use fire for the entire day. This is how the mountain derived the name “Mianshan”.

The following year, Duke Wen went up the mountain where Jie Zhitui and his mother were buried to pay his respect. On getting there, he realized that the willow tree that got burned down revived reminding him of the humble character of Jie. The Duke decided to name the Festival Qingming Jie.

To show respect to the humility of Jie, people who live close to the mountain stopped using fire and swept the tomb regularly.  Food, tea, wine, chopsticks and other monuments are offered to ancestors in remembrance of Jie Zhitui. Willow branches are also placed on gates in order to prevent evil spirits.

Getting the opportunity to visit this solemn place and participate in the ritual of the Qinming Festival is an opportunity I would not have missed for the world. I urge anyone interested in China’s historical activities, to take a trip during the Qingming Festival and get a full experience on Chinese cultural activities. Make your reservation an easy step through China Travel.

Jack Li

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