Chen Yongqiang, vice president of the Chinese Painting Society, presents his new work "Qingming - Kapok Flowers" on GDToday.
Clear and Bright (Qingming) falls on April 5 and ends on April 19 this year. It's the 5th solar term of the year, which signals a rise in temperature and increased rainfall. The name describes the weather expectations as 'clear' and 'bright.' It is a crucial time for plowing and sowing in the spring.
The 24 Solar Terms are defined according to the position of the sun on the ecliptic. At Clear and Bright, the sun's apparent position on the ecliptic is now 15°. Clear and Bright is both a solar term and a festival. On the Qingming Festival, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to sweep away dust and fallen leaves on them. It is also a good time for people to have a spring outing in bright spring days.
"To the people, food is heaven." Rao Yuanyuan, a famous Cantonese cultural scholar, introduced that the shrimps during the Clear and Bright are tender and delicious. In addition to shrimps, Qingtuan or green cake, and buckwheat vegetables are very popular snacks during this period. Guangdong's Chaoshan area has a custom of eating pancakes during the Qingming Festival. Shaoguan Hakka people use fresh mugwort leaves, glutinous rice, and sugar to make "Qingming Bun." Zhaoqing has the custom of eating sticky rice dumpling or zongzi, because in Chinese "zongzi" has the similar pronunciation with the "zhongzi," which symbolizes fertility.
In the Pearl River Delta area, Hong Kong and Macao, during the Qingming Festival, people will plant willow branches in their yards or houses. Buddhists believe that willow branches will drive away unwelcome ghosts and evil spirits. In west Guangdong, many families will sweep the tombs with torches. After sweeping the tombs, they will take the torches home. It means "passing the flame from generation to generation."
Written by Keane
Animation by Ye Jingxiong
Edited by Wing, Monica & Jerry
Article from: NewsGD.com