The Story About Tomb-Sweeping Day(Ching Ming festival)



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


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”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.


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.