Qingming Day also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, occurs on the day which is at the 5 / 24th of a lunar year. Simply put, it falls on either April 4th or April 5th, and in 2010 this occurs on April 5th. The traditional festival was made an official 1-day holiday in China in 2008. On the day, people travel back to their hometowns or where their ancestors rest to sweep tombs, offer wines and foods, burn underworld bank notes and other items so as to provide for their relatives underworld.
Apart from visiting ancestors out of love and respect, many Chinese people also believe that the good life they are living and the fortune they are making can partly attributed to blessings from their ancestors, so they return the blessing by offering on Qingming Day and wish for ongoing fortune. As their life gets better, offerings also keep up with the trend. This year, people get “creative” and present more than just money and foods as offering, here are some that burn out of box (pictures from xinhuanet):
First of all, private villa with garden and yacht guarantees more than comfortable living.
In this age, car is a must, and Mercedes seems more presentable.
Hell Gas station! How considerate.
Mahjong for ancestors’ recreation activities.
And Maotai Wine and Zhonghua Cigarette will add fun to Mahjong game and good for socializing too.
Credit cards and jewels are symbols of identity.
Passbook and various tickets for the convenience of traveling, hopefully none of them lead to human world.
50 yuan can get ancestors married with young super stars such as Maggie Cheung, Jolin.
Durex and other condoms for underworld birth control?
ID card issued by United Nations of heaven and hell.
Gold, lots of gold for ancestors’ various expenditures. Descendants makes life easy for ancestors and hopefully vice versa.
>> The traditional festival was made an official 3-day holiday in China in 2009
On 1.1.2008 it was made a one-day holiday.
May-1st was changed from a three-day to a one-day holiday, and three traditional chinese festivals were made one-day holidays (qing ming, mid autumn, and dragon boat jie-ri).
Did they really change the law again in 2009?
No they didn’t change the law, it is my mistake. You are right, the new official holiday schedule was passed by the Congress on Dec 7th, 2007 and effected since Jan 1,2008.
This year it followed the weekend so I mistakenly thought the whole 3 days are for Qingming, cuz Qingming stuffs occupy my 3 day holidays. Thank you Chris for reminding.
That HELL GAS station is the smartest ‘Chinglish’ I have ever seen. Nice job!
But maybe cars in the underworld run on Baijiu?
I love how official holidays here in China to most employers just means to juggle a few dates around so that people work the same amount of days. And if not they’ll be damn sure to subtract money from your paycheck.
Yes, absolutely! I hate when people say “we have a three day holiday”. It isn’t, it is just one day. Why would saturday and sunday even be counted?