Qingming Festival is coming, this article tells you the origin of Qingming Festival, and why you should sweep the tomb!

When the spring rain lasts every year, it is also a day for people to remember their ancestors and think about the source of drinking water. Have you ever thought about the origin of the Qingming Festival and why you want to sweep the tombs?

There are some moving historical origins behind this, if you are also curious, this article will take you to find out!

The origin of the Qingming Festival

The origin of the Qingming Festival is related to customs and activities, and the legend can be divided into the following two main types.

1. Evolved from the Cold Food Festival and the Shangsi Festival

When it comes to the Ching Ming Festival, most of the theories are related to the "Cold Food Festival" and the "Shangsi Festival".

First of all, the Cold Food Festival can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period. At that time, Chong'er, the prince of the Jin Kingdom, and his minister Jiezhitui were in exile together, and the two were hungry and poor on the way, Jiezhitui cut off his own flesh and gave Chong'er to eat, and he didn't ask for anything in return, but only hoped that Chong'er could become a diligent and loving king.

Nineteen years later, Chong'er became the Duke of Jin Wen, rewarding the loyal ministers who accompanied him in exile one by one, but he forgot to introduce the push, and the introduction of the merit also chose to return to his hometown and live in seclusion with his mother. After several reminders, Jin Wengong hurriedly rushed to Mianshan, the hometown of Jiezhitui, but the search was unsuccessful, so he set fire to the mountain according to the plan of others, intending to force Jiezhitui.

Unexpectedly, after the fire burned out, I saw the figure of Jiezhitui burning the old mother to death under the willow tree on his back. The ashamed and sad Duke Wen of Jin set this day as the Cold Food Festival to commemorate the loyalty of Jiezhitui, and also stipulated that the people were forbidden to use fire, leaving the custom of eating only cold food or pre-cooked food.

In addition, when the Duke of Jin Wen sacrificed the next year, he found that the willow tree in Mianshan was reborn, gave it the Qingming willow, and asked the people of the Jin Kingdom to sweep the tomb and hang willow branches, and also set the next day of the Cold Food Festival as the Qingming Festival.

The Shangsi Festival is said to have originated in the Zhou Dynasty, but it was not until the early Han Dynasty that it was clearly set to fall on the third day of the third lunar month. According to the Book of Etiquette of the Later Han Dynasty, people would perform a ritual on the same day.

Purification refers to the ancient people bathing in herbs by the water, the function is to drive away diseases and disasters, and then gradually spread out to outdoor feasting, traveling, and also young men and women traveling together.

The "General History of Taiwan" mentions that the people of Zhangzhou will worship their ancestors and sweep the tombs during the Shangsi Festival, which is called Xiaoqingming.

Due to the similar schedules of the Cold Food Festival, the Shangsi Festival, and the Qingming Festival, the customs of the three were gradually merged to form the Qingming Festival that is known today.

(Further reading: Interview with artist Lin Yijin: Nature, tradition, folklore, and memory are not just nostalgia, don't blindly say "what is the body of Taiwanese")

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels

Second, from Liu Bang's tomb

The second theory of the origin of the Qingming Festival is said to come from Liu Bang, the ancestor of the Han Dynasty, when he finally won the world after a fierce battle with Xiang Yu, the overlord of Western Chu. When he returned to his hometown, Liu Bang, who wanted to go to the grave to worship his parents, found that because of the war, the ancestral tomb had been broken and collapsed, and it was difficult to identify the inscription.

Unable to find the graves of his parents, he took out a piece of paper from his sleeve, tore it into small pieces, and looked up and prayed, "There is a spirit in heaven, and now the wind is blowing so strongly. I threw these little pieces of paper into the air, and if the pieces of paper fell in one place and the wind couldn't blow, that was where my parents were. 」

After speaking, a piece of paper fell on the grave, and the wind could not blow it. Liu Bang carefully inspected the tombstone, and sure enough, he saw his parents' names engraved on it, and ordered people to rebuild it immediately, and they would also come to worship their ancestors during the Qingming Festival in the future.

The meaning of tomb sweeping

Qingming Festival has always been one of the festivals that the Chinese attach great importance to, and today, with the rapid change of ideas, the meaning of tomb sweeping is constantly changing.

In fact, in modern terms, the tomb sweeping itself may have gone beyond the pure ancestor worship ceremony, and is more like a moment of cohesion, gratitude and sustenance.

And at this important time of the year, what are the customs that need to be observed and the taboos that should not be violated?

Your incurable diseases, the next article will help you organize them all!

(Gaying in the same scene: Women can be eight generals, dancing Zhong Kui! Folk forbidden area in progress)

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels