Ching Ming Festival in China in 2020

Ching Ming Festival in China in 2020
  How long until Ching Ming Festival?
This holiday next takes place in 6 days.
  Dates of Ching Ming Festival in China
2022 Apr 4, Apr 5, Apr 6
ChinaWed, Apr 6National Holiday (additional day)
ChinaTue, Apr 5National Holiday (additional day)
ChinaMon, Apr 4National Holiday
2021 China Mon, Apr 5 National Holiday
2020 Apr 4, Apr 5, Apr 6
ChinaMon, Apr 6National Holiday (additional day)
ChinaSun, Apr 5National Holiday (additional day)
ChinaSat, Apr 4National Holiday
2019 China Fri, Apr 5 National Holiday
2018 Apr 5, Apr 6
ChinaFri, Apr 6National Holiday
ChinaThu, Apr 5National Holiday
Ching Ming is the Remembrance of Ancestors Day or Grave-Sweeping Day
  Ching Ming Festival in other countries
Ching Ming Festival internationally

Ching Ming Festival in China in 2020

In a bid to contain COVID-19, Chinese authorities are recommending that people cancel their Qingming Festival plans as the national holiday approaches, according to domestic media. Due to concerns of cross-infection from such mass gatherings, the governments of Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and other provincial-level administrative regions are urging residents to call off their plans.

When is Ching Ming?

Ching Ming, Qingming, the Remembrance of Ancestors Day or Grave-Sweeping Day takes place on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox. This means it usually takes place on April 4th or April 5th in the western calendar.

The date of the festival is indicated on the Chinese calendar by the two characters: ching, meaning pure or clean, and ming, meaning brightness. Combined together, Ching Ming means clean and just.

This date is also indicated on traditional Japanese calendars, where their culture has a similar observance. In Korean culture, the observance is known as Hansik.

Traditions of Ching Ming

Ancestor worship is the only native religion to China. All others, including, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, were imported from outside of China. (Confucianism and Taoism originated in China but are philosophies rather than religions.)

Ching Ming rituals not only include weeding of the area, cleaning of the headstone, and replacing the wilted flowers with fresh ones, but also the lighting of incense and burning of imitation paper money. The burning of the imitation money is for the deceased to use in the afterlife.

The imitations burnt are no longer limited to just money. In recent years, the burning of paper imitations of a wide variety of consumer goods has become popular. This includes all manner of objects, such as iPhones, designer handbags, houses and sports cars.

In addition, food is laid out in front of the headstone as an offering to the spirits of the deceased.

Each family member comes in front of the headstone and bows three times with their right fist held cupped in their left hand. Some families will then eat the food at the grave site, akin to having a picnic with their deceased relatives. It is said to bring good luck to eat the food that was offered to the deceased. Some families may also set off firecrackers to scare off evil spirits and to alert the deceased relatives that they are there to pay their respects.

Today, the responsibility to hang san or ’walk the mountain’ as visiting the cemetery is commonly known, still falls to the eldest son. Today families may be more likely to prefer simplified offerings of only the incense, paper money and flowers.

In 2007, the Chinese government made Tomb-Sweeping Day a national holiday, conferring a legal basis and state support for private ceremonies held in memory of deceased individuals.

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