Do you know how much about Ching Ming Festival?


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           When near the end of March, Ching Ming Festival, one of China's four major traditional festivals, also called “Tomb-sweeping Day”, is in sight. Chinese will sweep the ancestors’ tombs in this festival. At the same time in different parts of China, there are many festivals activities, such as fire ban, hiking, willow inserting. Moreover, many areas will make seasonal pastries during the Ching Ming Festival.

        Ching Ming Festival was just one of the twenty-four solar terms at the first time, then it evolved into a festival of worshiping their ancestors and traveling outdoors. On the festival’s origins are basically two.

        The first saying is that Ching Ming Festival began in ancient emperors “held a memorial service” the ceremony, then these days became a fixed customs and traditions of the whole nation, and finally evolved into a festival to commemorate the deceased since the folk followed the ceremony.
        The second saying comes from the story of Jie Zitui. In the Spring and Autumn Period, the Jin Prince Chong Er could not find food in exile, one of the Ministers Jie Zitui cut a piece of flesh from his thigh and cooked it for the prince. Later, Prince Chong Er became the monarch and rewarded couriers who accompanied him in exile only forgot Jie Zitui. But Jie didn’t like claim credit so he moved to the mountains. The Monarch Jin Chong Er came to the mountains to invite him to be the minister but Jie was still reluctant. In order to let Jie came out from the mountain, Monarch Jin set fire to the mountain. It turned out that Jie was found died under an old tree and with his old mother on his back since he was really don’t want wealth and status. Monarch Jin was sad to find a letter written by Jie’s blood that saying “cut flesh to make loyalty, hope lord always Chingming”. To memorize Jie Zitui, Monarch Jin made the day Cold Food Festival, the following day as Ching Ming Festival.

        Since Cold Food Festival and Ching Ming Festival have become one festival in nowadays, many areas in China still have the custom of eating cold food. For instance, parts of Shandong Province will eat cold sorghum rice and cold pancakes. Furthermore, Shanghai’s qingtuan, Fujian’s Ching Ming fruit, Zhejiang’s Ching Ming zongzi are also popular in Ching Ming Festival.
       The most important program in Ching Ming Festival is tomb-sweeping. Chinese come back to ancestor’s tombs to miss the people passed by. Ching Ming Festival just meets the rainy season each year. Walking on the country roads in the drizzle in the early spring to deceasing ancestors often makes people have some different kinds of faint melancholy.

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