top words tomb sweeping holiday china

Top 8 Words for Qingming Festival, the Tomb Sweeping Holiday in China

The Qingming Festival (清明节 - qīng míng jié) is upon us again.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 2,500 plus years of tradition behind this holiday, it’s all about tomb sweeping, spring outings and kite flying.

What distinguishes this festival from the others is the mix of bittersweetness: the sad tears cried while visiting deceased loved ones and the laughter and smiles of flying kites and playing in the spring.

The main part of this festival involves families paying their respects to their deceased ancestors.

All the weeds would be pulled and the tomb would be swept (hence, tomb sweeping holiday).

The families will also bring the person’s favorite wine and food as sacrifices. Other sacrifices include paper money that would be burned since the Chinese believe it’s needed on the other side.

A previous year’s popular sacrifice was actually to burn paper iPhones, preferably with a paper charger!

Without further adieu, here are some of the top 8 words and phrases used for 清明节 that are found in the wild!

Top 8 Words for China’s Qingming Festival

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8. 风筝 (fēng zhēng): kite


zài nǐ xīn mù zhōng xī’ ān zuì shì hé fàng fēng zhēng dì dì fāng shì nǎ’ er ne

Where do you think is the most suitable place to fly kites in Xi’an?


7. 祭品 (jì pǐn): sacrifices; offerings


měi dào qīng míng jié qián, lù kǒu dōu yǒu hěn duō shāo zhǐ, shāo jì pǐn de shì mín

Before every Qingming Festival, there are a lot of people on the roads burning paper and offerings.


6. 祭祀 (jì sì): offer sacrifices to ancestors


qīng míng jié kuài dào le, rú guǒ gāng hǎo nà shí rén zài wài dì, wú fǎ huí háng zhōu lái jì sì, zěn me bàn

It’s almost Qingming Festival. What do you do if at that time you happen to be out of town and have no way to offer sacrifices to your ancestors


5. 踏青 (tà qīng): outing


qīng míng jià qī zhǔ yào yǐ guó nèi jí duǎn tú chū jìng yóu wéi zhǔ, tà qīng shì qīng míng jié chū xíng de shǒu xuǎn zhǔ tí

The Qingming Festival for those within mainland China is a short holiday, where the main part of it is going on an outing.

tomb sweeping day china



If you like this list, you might also like this video on Tomb Sweeping Day.

4. 菊花 (jú huā): chrysanthemum


suī rán méi zhí duō shǎo qián, dàn zài gān zào de tiān qì xià, chōng yī bēi jú huā mì táng, hē qǐ lái rén dōu xǐng shén hǎo duō

Even though it’s not worth a lot of money, making a cup of chrysanthemum tea with honey to drink during dry weather really lifts people’s spirits up

3. 冷食 (lěng shí): cold food; cold dishes 


qīng míng zhī rì, bù dòng yān huǒ, zhǐ chī lěng shí

On Qingming day, you can’t light fireworks and can only eat cold dishes


2. 插柳 (chā liǔ): plant willow trees 


wǒ guó gǔ dài zài qīng míng shí jié jiù yǒu chā liǔ zhí shù de chuán tǒng

During ancient times in my country for Qingming Festival, a tradition was to plant willow trees


1. 扫墓 (sǎo mù): sweep tombs; tomb sweeping


zuó tiān, chèn zhe tiān qì bù cuò, bù shǎo shì mín gǎn zhe qù jiāo wài sǎo mù

Taking advantage of the weather yesterday, many people rushed to the outskirts of the city to sweep tombs

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