Learning Chinese | The Pure Brightness Day (清明)


The Pure Brightness Day, 清明 qīng míng

The Pure Brightness Day, also known as "Tomb-Sweeping Day" and "The Mourning Day", is not only the fifth solar term of the Chinese traditional 24 solar terms, but also one of the most important festivals in Chinese culture. It starts when the solar ecliptic is up to 15°, usually the day before or after the 5th of April. At that time, the air is clear, the landscape is bright and everything is visible, hence a good time to visit the countryside, enjoy nature and pay tribute to the ancestors.

According to modern anthropology and archaeology, the history of the Pure Brightness Day can be traced back to the two most primitive beliefs of mankind: the belief in heaven and earth, and the belief in ancestors. On the Pure Brightness Day, Chinese people would go to the countryside to sweep family tombs in memory of their ancestors. In doing so, many traditional Chinese values, such as filial piety and family responsibility have been inherited from generation to generation. Of course, apart from the serious rituals, people will also take this time to enjoy the beautiful scenery outside the city, getting close to nature and feeling the connections to heaven and earth.