Similar to the Christian tribute on All Souls Day, Chinese culture pays homage to departed ancestors during Qingming Jie, loosely translated as Pure Brightness Festival, or Ancestors Day. This festival has roots that go back at least 2500 years. Yu’s New Beijing Chinese Restaurant is honored to share this special Chinese celebration with you!
This traditional Chinese festival takes place on the 104th day after the winter solstice, and it is celebrated with song and dance, burning of paper garlands, and tea. Tea leaves harvested on this day, are said to be special and are sold at a premium. This year, in 2014, Qingming falls on April 5th. Additionally, this festival also falls on the first of the fifth solar term, which is also named Qingming. This is the day that kicks off springtime in Chinese culture, where people are encouraged to go outdoors and enjoy the newness of spring blossoms and tend to the graves or burial grounds of the departed ones.
There is also a much deeper significance to this holiday, as throughout history, it has been pegged to observe civil, political and cause-related commemorations that could not publicly be commemorated otherwise.
Qingming is a festival that celebrates both end and renewal, or the circle of life. Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145) painted this panoramic scroll of Kaifeng City along the river during Qingming Festival, as people ventured out to venerate their ancestors and celebrate the continuation of life.
Click on the picture above to see a larger panoramic view.
At Yu’s New Beijing, we realize that none of us would not be here today had it not been for our ancestors. We celebrate them and celebrate their resolve to celebrate past and future generations.