On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. Traffic on the way to the cemeteries becomes extremely jammed. The customs have been greatly simplified today. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offer food, flowers and favorites of the dead, then burn incense and paper money and bow before the memorial tablet.
This is the most important day of sacrifice. Both the Han and minority ethnic groups at this time offer sacrifices to their ancestors and sweep the tombs of the diseased. Also, they will not cook on this day and only cold food is served.
The Qingming Festival is a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is again lively. Since ancient times, people have followed the custom of Spring outings. At this time tourists are everywhere.
People love to fly kites during the Qingming Festival. Kite flying is actually not limited to the Qingming Festival. Its uniqueness lies in that people fly kites not during the day, but also at night. A string of little lanterns tied onto the kite or the thread look like shining stars, and therefore, are called "god‘s lanterns."
The Qingming Festival is also a time to plant trees, for the survival rate of saplings is high and trees grow fast later. In the past, the Qingming Festival was called "Arbor Day". But since 1979, "Arbor Day" was settled as March 12 according to the Gregorian calendar.
The tomb sweeping day is one of the traditional festivals in China. On April 5th, people start to visit their ancestors’tombs.
Generally speaking, people will bring the home-made food, some fake money and paper-made mansion to their ancestors. When they start to honour their ancestor, they will light up some candles and incense, put some flowers around the tombs.
The most important thing is to put the home-made food in front of the tombs. The food, also known as sacrifices, is usually made up with a chicken, a fish and some pork. It’s a symbol of the offspring’s respect to the ancestors.
People believe that the forbears will share the food with them. The children dedicate the food and money to their forbears in order to show their love and caring. The young offspring will go down on their knees and pray for their ancestors. They can say their wishes in front of the tombs and the ancestors will make their dreams come true.