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Happy Qingming Festival

Happy Qingming Festival from all of us at IVAS - Centre for International Visiting Artists and Scholars! 🎉

The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated to honour ancestors and pay respects to the deceased 🪦. Tomb-sweeping is an important custom of the festival, where families sweep the tombs, remove weeds, and offer traditional foods to ancestors to show filial piety and ensure the well-being of the deceased in the afterlife 🍲🧹. It is also common for families to burn incense and make offerings of paper money 💵🔥, believing that these items will reach their ancestors in the afterlife. Beyond the solemn tomb-sweeping rituals, the festival is also a time for outdoor activities such as picnics 🧺, hiking 🥾, and flying kites 🪁! The festival is an important opportunity to strengthen family bonds and to honour our ancestors!

🌟 Here are some first-hand insights into the festival as Tsz Kwan Lam from team IVAS shares that:

"During the Qingming Festival, I would go hiking and have picnics with my family. We would enjoy the traditional foods such as the Qingtuan (Green rice balls made from glutinous rice mixed with mugwort), and Zongzi (Pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves). Although I am not in Hong Kong now, I still celebrate the festival by honouring ancestors at home and cooking these traditional Qingming festival foods with my family."

🌟 Chuwen Jiang from team IVAS also shares that:

"During the Qingming Festival, my family gathers together to return to our ancestral gravesite to pay respects to our departed relatives. We climb the mountain carefully as it often rains during Qingming. Upon reaching the gravesite, we tidy up the tombstones and burn incense and paper money, placing flowers on the graves. We offer prayers and make wishes for our loved ones in our hearts. If there is no rain, we also set off firecrackers before we leave the gravesite as a sign of respect and worship. The sound of firecrackers is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring blessings. For me, this festival brings me a feeling of warmth and connection as we come together as a family, sharing memories and supporting each other through this solemn ritual. It’s a time of reflection, gratitude, and a reminder of the importance of cherishing our bonds with both the living and the deceased.”

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