Qingming Festival 2024 // What is it, when is it and have you ever taken part in it?

As you may or may not know, Qingming Festival (清明节 Qīngmíng jié) is just around the corner! This year it’ll be April 4th.

This festival remains the most ‘mysterious’ for me. I’ve read a little bit about it recently (blog attached below!) but because of the nature of it, i.e. being the Tomb Sweeping Festival in which deceased relatives are honoured and graves are cleaned/brought offerings, it’s inevitably a much more intimate tradition compared to something like Spring Festival or Dragon Boat Festival.

The more ‘accessible’ aspects of the festival definitely seem to be kite flying and eating 青团 (green rice balls). But even those I’m yet to try after a total of 4 years on this side of the world :eyes:

I’m wondering what your experiences of Qingming Festival have been like? Is it something you’ve experienced firsthand?

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Having been to China multiple times around that date I felt that it was much less talked about, and more of an event to keep in the family.

For Spring Festival and Dragon Boat Festival it is common to be invited to a few places, but not for Tomb Sweeping, which makes a lot of sense!

I’ve never even seen any 青团 in the shops :eyes: I should have a better look this time!

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Interesting!! I think for most of us the main experience we have of Qingming Festival is the day off we get each year :laughing:

I have never experienced Qingming festival in Asia, but one thing that really impressed me is that people burn fake money and even fake tablets/iPhone/laptops to send them to the deceased relatives!

And apparently it’s something that also happens in Vietnam as well! Two weeks ago I was in a market in Ho Chi Minh, and many stalls were selling fake tablets/laptops specifically to be burnt for the deceased ones.

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Oh that’s super interesting!! I’d never heard of burning fake electronics before

A very modern twist!

oh wow I’ve never heard of this!! Would be curious to see what it looks like :eyes:

Would love to go again since the last time we were there it seems that the popularity has grown! Would definitely love to check it out.

In Vietnam we also have a similar festival called Tết Thanh minh, the meaning of the name is exactly like that in Chinese. We also visit our ancestor graves and do the cleaning. In the past, there are more celebrations around this custom, like “đạp thanh” which is stepping on grass to absorb vitality of the spring time. We also tend to plant trees instead of flying kites, and also burn joss money.

For city dwellers like me in Vietnam, it’s one of the “loss” festival because it’s a busy life and it’s not an official national holiday for us to visit our ancestor grave. But some houses still celebrate by cooking elaborate meals and making offerings in their household.


Same here. I have never done it in Vietnam, so I am not very familiar with the things people usually do during the Qingming festival. However, in the countryside, I know that my father typically visits ancestor graves during the Qingming festival.


Qingming Festival is here!

Thought I’d share a little more about the festival. Here are some super helpful infographics on the meaning of Qingming Festival, the importance of tomb sweeping and some essential vocab :grin:

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