QingMing Festival

Description: It is a Taiwanese holiday where people would visit the graves of their ancestors and loved ones. 

Background: It was considered a national holiday in Taiwan, where she lived.


BL: So there is a holiday in Taiwan called QingMingJie or QingMing Festival, some people call it Tomb-Sweeping day. It’s when we go to family burial grounds and we clean and decorate the graves and stuff.

Me: And it’s something you do every year.

BL: Yeah, it’s to honor and remember our ancestors and family. People also put stuff in front of the graves too, like food and flowers. Some people would also say prayers to the dead people. Oh we also burn paper, like burning paper money, we write things that we want our ancestors to have in the afterlife and burn the paper.

Me: I think my family does something similar.

BL: Yeah, but I think it’s more recognized in Taiwan because China used to not allow it. Like the cultural revolution and all that stuff.

My thoughts:

As said previously, the holiday was banned in China during the cultural revolution. I have heard about the holiday and participated in a few occasions. But I think this is a strong point of identity for Taiwan because of the banning of the festival, it is for this reason that it is a national holiday in Taiwan while it is a simple tradition in the mainland. Of course, the celebration and honoring of one’s ancestors is something that is consistently prevalent in Chinese and General East Asian culture. The main reason being the celebration of legacy and the immortality of the lineage. Someone is alive as long their ideas are passed on.