Qingming (pure brightness) Festival

People mostly do three things during this festival, i.e. A. Go outing, i.e. bring wine along and climb the hill, mostly the hill of Yuhuatai in ancient times, with numerous tourists returning home in the evening. This activity went on until the end of the third month according to Chinese lunar calendar. B. Fly kites, mostly on the hill of Yuhuatai in old days. After the 1980s, the venue fo flying kites gradually moved to Zhonghua City-Gate Castle. C. Pay homage to the deceased at their tombs, commonly called “Going to the tomb”, an occasion on which family members of the deceased would surely bring with them dishes and wine, candles and “Yuanbao” (‘Gold ingots’ and ‘Silver ingots’ made of tin-foil paper) as mock bank-notes for the deceased. Dishes as sacrifice generally consist of two vegetarian dishes and one meat dish, with the former mixed with Jew’s ears as a must, in addition to a piece of boiled white fat pork called “Knife-head pork”.  Specially-made bamboo boxes for holding dishes as sacrifice in different forms are all termed as ”Spring hill”. Willow branches hung with long purple paper, regarded as “Raising money”, must be stuck into the top of the tomb. It is said, people in ancient times preferred “Hanging money” to leaving behind sentiments at the tomb. Before paying homage to the deceased at the tomb, family members of the deceased are expected to visit a native taking care of the tomb, a native commonly called “The relative of the tomb”. Money and gifts are supposed to be presented to “The relative of the tomb” who should also give them several boiled eggs reciprocally. Then, “The relative of the tomb” would take them to the tomb, with the former usually bringing with him a spade for adding some earth to the tomb, forming “A tomb cap”. With all this done, family members of the deceased would sometimes visit the home of “The relative of the tomb” . After paying homage to the tomb of the deceased, these family memners must take home some willow branches to be stuck into the earth in front of their home, which is said to eliminate disaster and ward off evils.


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