The Story About Tomb-Sweeping Day(Ching Ming festival)
每年的清明定在二十四节气的春分后的第十五天,清明节是子孙们去扫墓祭祖的节日,人们会带祭品前往祭祖,同时打扫和清理墓啤。今年(2008)的清明节是公历4月4日。


清明上河图

清明节的传统

Ancestor worship is a Chinese tradition dating back thousands of years.

中国祭祀祖先的传统已有数千年之久。

Also known as the Grave-sweeping or Spring Remembrance, Ching Ming ("clear and bright"), is when Chinese families show their respect by visiting the graves of their ancestors to clear away weeds, touch up gravestone inscriptions and make offerings of wine and fruit.

清明时,中国阖家前往祭拜祖先,同时把祖坟修饰一下,把杂草清除。然后准备一些牺牲、酒和水果作为对祖先的祭品。

清明节的翻译

“清明”依音译为“Ching Ming, 但“节”则依意译为festival,合起来便是Ching Ming Festival, 是音译和意译的混合物。

扩充阅读一:Chinese Ching Ming Festival

A Chinese holiday, celbrated on April 5th, is the Ching Ming Festival (aka Qingming Festival.) Ching, in Chinese, means pure or clean and Ming means brightness. Most people call this holiday grave-sweeping day because people head to the cemetery to clean graves.

There are many Ching Ming rituals[仪式] which include pulling out weeds around the headstone, cleaning the stone and replacing wilted or dead flowers with fresh ones. People also burn incense[薰香] and paper money. The paper money is for the deceased to use in the afterlife. You'll even see food arranged on headstones but it's not a picnic. The food is an offering to the spirits. Three sets of chopsticks[筷子] and three Chinese wine cups are also placed above the food, close to the headstone.

Other rituals include family members pouring wine on the grave or setting off firecrackers[鞭炮] to scare away evil spirits. The firecrackers also let deceased loved ones know they're there to pay their respects. Legend has it that unhappy spirits wander the earth on Ching Ming day. It's considered bad luck to do important business or have an operation on April 5th. Stick to hanging out in the cemetery and offering your ancestors food and fake money.

The practice of ancestor worship is based on three beliefs:
1) that a person's good or bad fortune is influenced by the souls of his or her ancestors;
2) that all departed[死去的] ancestors have the same material needs they had when alive; and
3) that the departed can assist their living relatives.

扩充阅读二:清明节的由来

Long time ago, there was a king named Liu Pang(刘邦). When he won the war and became a king, he went back to his country with honor. Liu Pang wanted to express his respect and appreciation for his parents, so he went to his parents’ tombs to burn incense. However, he couldn’t find their tombs because of the war. Liu Pang felt very sad, but he didn’t give up.
   Suddenly, he got an idea. He took out a sheet of paper, tore it to many pieces, and threw it into sky. At that time, he praised, “ God, Please help me to find my parents’ tombs. Let these small pieces of paper freeze at one place. Lead me to find the tombs.” It was so strange that those small pieces of paper stop at one place. Finally Liu Pang found his parents’ tombs by following these papers. That’s why we put some pieces of color papers under small stones on the ancestors’ tombs.

有关清明节的由来:相传在秦朝末年,汉高祖刘邦和西楚霸王项羽,大战好几回合后,终于取得天下。他光荣返回故乡的时候,想要到父母亲的坟墓上去祭拜,却因为连年的战争,使得一座座的坟墓上长满杂草,墓碑东倒西歪,有的断落,有的破裂,而无法辨认碑上的文字。

刘邦非常的难过,虽然部下也帮他翻遍所有的墓碑,可是直到黄昏的时候还是没找到他父母的坟墓。最後刘邦从衣袖里拿出一张纸,用手撕成许多小碎片,紧紧捏在手上,然後向上苍祷告说:“爹娘在天有灵,现在风刮得这么大,我将把这些小纸片,抛向空中,如果纸片落在一个地方,风都吹不动,就是爹娘的坟墓。”说完刘邦把纸片向空中抛,果然有一片纸片落在一座坟墓上,不论风怎么吹都吹不动,刘邦跑过去仔细瞧一瞧模糊的墓碑,果然看到他父母的名字刻在上面。

刘邦高兴得不得了,马上请人重新整修父母亲的墓,而且从此以后,每年的清明节一定到父母的坟上祭拜。后来民间的百姓,也和刘邦一样每年的清明节都到祖先的坟墓祭拜,并且用小土块压几张纸片在坟上,表示这座坟墓是有人祭扫的。