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Public Holidays: Qingming Festival 2018
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Qingming Festival of 2018 falls on April 5. People sweep ancestors’ tombs on the day. The holiday from April 5 to 7, 2018 is also a great time for spring outing.

Qingming Jie (also known as Ching Ming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day), which falls on either April 4th or 5th of the gregorian calendar, is one of the Chinese Twenty-four Solar Terms. From that date temperatures begin to rise and rainfall increases, indicating that it is the crucial time for plowing and sowing in the spring. The festival therefore has a close relationship with agriculture. However, it is not only a seasonal symbol; it is also a day of paying respect to the dead, a spring outing, and other activities.

The celebration of Tomb-Sweeping Day and ancestor worship dates back nearly 2,500 years in Chinese culture. The literal meaning of Qingming Jie is Pure Brightness Festival. It is believed that Qingming Jie was originally derived from the Cold Food Festival, or Hanshi Festival, a festival in the spring and autumn established by Duke Wen of Jin in 636 BC to honour a loyal retainer named Jie Zitui. It seems that Jie Zitui was accidentally killed when the Duke set fire to a forest to drive his former retainer out of hiding. The Duke then ordered three days without fire to remember his devoted servant.

The Qingming Festival is more directly attributed to Tang Emperor Xuanzong, who established a specific day for honouring ancestors in 732 AD because he felt that the people were devoting too much time to ancestor worship.

Qingming Festival is a time of many different activities, among which the main ones are tomb sweeping, taking a spring outing, and flying kites. Some other lost customs like wearing willow branches on the head and riding on swings have added infinite joy in past days. It is a combination of sadness and happiness.

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