Qingming Festival: the Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

Published April 5, 2011
A Chinese couple cleans the tomb of their deceased family member at a cemetery in Beijing, China. – Photo by AP
A Chinese couple cleans the tomb of their deceased family member at a cemetery in Beijing, China. – Photo by AP
A Chinese family gathers to offer prayers to their ancestors in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
A Chinese family gathers to offer prayers to their ancestors in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
A woman cries as she hugs the tombstone of her husband at a public cemetery in China. – Photo by Reuters
A woman cries as she hugs the tombstone of her husband at a public cemetery in China. – Photo by Reuters
A boy partakes in a ceremony at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP
A boy partakes in a ceremony at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP
A man carries a bunch of flowers up steep steps at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP
A man carries a bunch of flowers up steep steps at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP
An elderly couple touches the names of their relatives after sticking chrysanthemums onto the name list of victims who were killed during the Nanjing Massacre, at the Nanjing Massacre Museum in China. – Photo by Reuters
An elderly couple touches the names of their relatives after sticking chrysanthemums onto the name list of victims who were killed during the Nanjing Massacre, at the Nanjing Massacre Museum in China. – Photo by Reuters
An elderly man repaints the characters at a tomb of his deceased relative. – Photo by AP
An elderly man repaints the characters at a tomb of his deceased relative. – Photo by AP
A man repaints the characters on a tomb of his relative at a cemetery. – Photo by AP
A man repaints the characters on a tomb of his relative at a cemetery. – Photo by AP
Flowers, biscuits, fake moneys and cigarettes are placed on the tomb plates at a cemetery in Beijing. – Photo by AP
Flowers, biscuits, fake moneys and cigarettes are placed on the tomb plates at a cemetery in Beijing. – Photo by AP
A vendor folds paper money in the shape of lotus, used as offerings to ancestors, in front of her stall at a public cemetery in Taiwan. – Photo by Reuters
A vendor folds paper money in the shape of lotus, used as offerings to ancestors, in front of her stall at a public cemetery in Taiwan. – Photo by Reuters
A man reacts as he burns a paper villa as an offering in front of tombstones of his ancestors. – Photo by Reuters
A man reacts as he burns a paper villa as an offering in front of tombstones of his ancestors. – Photo by Reuters
Paper replicas of first generation iPads and iPhones sit on a shelf among other electronic gadgets for sale for the Qingming festival at a prayer supplies shop in Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
Paper replicas of first generation iPads and iPhones sit on a shelf among other electronic gadgets for sale for the Qingming festival at a prayer supplies shop in Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
Paper replicas of cars are for sale at a temple in Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
Paper replicas of cars are for sale at a temple in Malaysia. – Photo by Reuters
A man blows on incense sticks, used for offerings to the deceased, at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP
A man blows on incense sticks, used for offerings to the deceased, at a cemetery in Hong Kong. – Photo by AFP

Qingming festival, also known as the Tomb Sweeping Day or ancestor day, which falls annually on April 5, is a day when Chinese around the world remember their dearly departed and take time off to clean up the tombs and place flowers and offerings. Chinese flock to cemeteries during Qingming Festival and honour their dead by offering prayers, food, tea, wine as well as paper replicas of bungalows, flashy cars, technological gadgets and Louis Vuitton bags, for their dead to enjoy in the afterlife.

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