QingMing Festival – Nanning,Guangxi,China 清明节

[ You can enlarge some pictures by click it ]

Apr.5 is the Tomb-sweeping Day in China, also known as Qingming Festival(清明节). It is a National Public Holiday, and people will have a 3-day leave around that day ever since 2008.

In different areas of China people have different kinds of customs during QingMing. But in a traditional way, people usually will take the whole family to the cemetery, young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer flowers, wine, food, libations to the ancestors. And you also can see that people burn joss paper accessories(a series of paper models like clothes, cars, houses and money ect). People believe that those ancestors will get them though this way. So, it is a time for celebrants to remember and honour those ancestors who passed away, and also a time when lots of family members will get together.

Qingming in the cemetery, Guangxi China

Qingming in the cemetery, Guangxi China

The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (节气), and QingMing is the 5th solar term. At this time of year, it always be rainy weather here. I think they pick this time coz it seems the sky looks crying too, for those ancestors in tombs. The atmosphere fits the Chinese traditional sacrifice activity.

The rites have a long tradition in China, especially for farmers, it is a very impotant festival.

I do go with my family to this rite. Here we call it “Bai Shan”(拜山), seems just those people lives in Guangxi and Guangdong province will call it like this. In traditional way it is much more ceremonious and complicated, but in today’s life we wouldn’t spend a a month or a week to do this sacrifice rite. Normally we would bring the white wine, fruit, some five-color glutinous rice and a cooked chiken(this is essential, not sure why) as sacrificial offering, and also buy a bunch of chrysanthemum(菊花), yellow or white, don’t pick the wrong flower. We would buy the joss sticks and candles, someone even will buy some firecrackers(especially for the countryside people) and some joss paper. Yes we are going to burn this during the rite. For some one they may choose a “modern way” to sweep the graves, just simply buy a bunch of flowers and put it on the grave.



Qingming burning  joss paper, Guangxi China

Qingming burning joss paper, Guangxi China

There are really lots of people in the Nanning martyrs’ park(南宁烈士陵园), there is a cemetery there. I think that is the most crowded time of a year. No photo taken, so I just can post some pics which I got them from the Internet.

Qingming in the cemetery, Guangxi China

Qingming in the cemetery, Guangxi China

a girl holds a bunch of chrysanthemum in QingMing festival

a girl holds a bunch of chrysanthemum in QingMing festival

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2 Responses to “QingMing Festival – Nanning,Guangxi,China 清明节”

  1. Thanks Bruce for the information, I now understand the tradition meaning of this time. It’s always great to see other cultures.

  2. This is very interesting. My grandfather died in Nanning and was buried at Fort Hill North Gate Nanning in 1923. I am wondering if ithe tomb stone is still there?

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