Qingming Festival 5 April 2018

Today is Qingming Festival 清明节 (qing ming jie) which the Chinese government has designated a public holiday as part of their drive to promote traditional culture. This is traditionally a day for venerating and making offerings to one’s ancestors as well tomb-sweeping. Other traditional activities include 踏青( “ta qing” meaning going for a spring walk), kite-flying, swinging on swings and playing 蹴鞠 cuju (a kind of Chinese football).

There is a famous poem by Du Mu 杜牧  called 《清明》which is often quoted on this day.

Pure Brightness(Qing Ming) Festival

by Du Mu

It's drizlling thickly and profusely
On the Pure Brightness Day.
A wayfarer is overwhelmed with sorrows
On his way.
"Excuse me, can you tell me
Where to find a wineshop in the village?"
"Over there," the shepherd boy pointing to
The distant Apricot Blossoms Village.

Note & Commentary:

The poem describes a pedestrian travelling in the countryside in the midst of drizzling on the Qing Ming Festival, who asks a shepherd boy where to find a wineshop to dispel his sorrows.

Translation from: https://cn.hujiang.com/new/p189879/

                                            清     明

                                                          tánɡ dù  mù

                                                             唐 · 杜  牧

                            qīnɡ mínɡ  shí   jíé    yǔ   fēn  fēn

                             清     明     时    节    雨    纷   纷,

                             lù  shànɡ xínɡ rén   yù  duàn hún

                             路     上     行    人    欲    断   魂。

                             jíè   wèn   jīǔ   jīā    hé   chù yǒu

                             借     问     酒    家    何    处   有,

                             mù  tónɡ  yáo  zhǐ  xìnɡ hūā cūn

                             牧     童     遥    指    杏    花   村。

评注:在清明时节的纷纷细雨中,乡间路上一位行人向牧童打听酒家以解愁绪。

Also, in the Legend of White Snake, White Snake and Green Snake meets Xu Xian on Qingming Festival who lends them his umbrella because of the rain.

Here's a song about Qing Ming by 许嵩 called "清明雨上" (Qingming Rain)

    Here in Singapore, my parents did tomb-sweeping early in order to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, it is not a public holiday here of course. Have you done your tomb-sweeping?

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