April 5, 2022 Tomb Sweeping Day
On Tomb Sweeping Day –in Chinese called the Qingming festival– people visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respect, while sprucing up the area and making offerings to their spirits. They burn joss sticks and paper offerings –often fake money– to honor their ancestors and transmit the necessary goods to loved ones in the afterlife. Other activities tied to Tomb Sweeping Day are spring outings, kite flying –at night, colored lanterns are tied to the kites–, and putting willow branches on gates and doors to ward off unwelcome spirits. Traditional foods on this day include sweet green rice balls, peach blossom porridge, Qingming snails, and eggs. Due to the corona-pandemic, in the past two years this important festival was celebrated mainly in a virtual way, but it is expected to be held in the traditional way again this year at least in other cities that Shanghai which is in a strict lock-down this period.