Pure Light Festival
The arrival of spring in China is associated with the revival and awakening of the earth after winter. And it is during this period that it is customary to honor the departed, on the great festival of Qingming.
It is believed that on the 15th day after the vernal equinox (108 days after the winter solstice), usually falling on April 5, the celestial energy Yang descends to the earth and charges it to give birth to a new life cycle. Since this is a public holiday, the period from April 5 to 7 was made official non-working days.
The holiday dates back to 732. The Tang emperor Xuanzong decided to set aside a separate day for commemoration of the dead. Then this day in the peasant communities was called Hanshi (cold food festival). But with the advent of the Communists (in 1949), Qingming was canceled, as it was considered a relic of the past. And only in 2008 he was able to reanimate.
On this day, the Chinese as whole families visit the graves of their relatives, friends, and war heroes, who gave them the present happy life. They clean the tombstones of old leaves and debris, and present the gifts of the heavenly office. It is customary to put counterfeit money, which is then burned. Thus, the deceased receive money in the next world and will be able to use it. Gifts can be very diverse: paper cars, smartphones, cookies, sweets, flowers, wreaths, cigarettes and more. Incense is also ignited, which drives away evil spirits. Since for all Chinese this is a holy triumph, no family misses an opportunity to visit the cemetery. Therefore, large traffic jams form, and the streets become crowded.
Interestingly, during this period, the Chinese do not cook or eat hot food, only cold snacks. Such goodies are very popular: colorful rice dumplings with red beans (Qingming fruit), fried dough brushwood (Sangtzi), rice balls (Qingtuan), snail meat (Qingming Luo), vegetable rolls (Chunbin), black rice (Uzhen), date cake.
According to tradition, Chinese people leave for the weekend outside the city, where they relax with relatives and friends, walk on fresh grass or land, just free of snow, play games in the fresh air and have picnics. And also millions of kites are launched because there are usually big winds for the festival of pure light. The Chinese launch kites as high as possible and release them at the highest point. It is believed that with them go sickness and misfortune. But you do not need to raise someone else's snake, as it can bring adversity. Many people tie lanterns to them and start them at night, so when you look at the sky, a stunning view of a thousand lights opens up.