清明节 The Tomb Sweeping Day
The tomb sweeping day is one of the traditional festivals in China. On April 5th, people start to visit their ancestors’ tombs. Generally speaking, people will bring the home-made food, some fake money and paper-made mansion to their ancestors. When they start to honour their ancestor, they will light up some candles and incense, put some flowers around the tombs. The most important thing is to put the home-made food in front of the tombs. The food, also known as sacrifices, is usually made up with a chicken, a fish and some pork. It’s a symbol of the offspring’s respect to the ancestors. People believe that the forbears will share the food with them. The children dedicate the food and money to their forbears in order to show their love and caring. The young offspring will go down on their knees and pray for their ancestors. They can say their wishes in front of the tombs and the ancestors will make their dreams come true.
In some provinces of China, people use different activities to commemorate this day, for instance, spring-outing, swinging, tree planting and making special food. One special food is Ay Tsao rice balls. It looks like Tang-yuan, but its colour is green. Mix the ay tsao juice with the rice powder, then make it into small balls. The Ay Tsao rice ball is done. People believe that eating ay tsao rice balls can get rid of the bad luck and everything will go smoothly. Other activities such as spring outing, tree planting are the other ways to commemorate the forbears. For one thing, it is a sign that people should look into the future and embrace the hope; for another thing, we do hope our ancestor rest in peace.