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Continuity and change in China's ancient Qingming Festival
April 05,2017   By:Xinhua
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April 5, 2017 -- People mourn for the deceased in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake in front of a memorial wall in Tangshan, north China's Hebei Province, April 3, 2017. Tomb-Sweeping Day, or Qingming, falls early April, when Chinese people commemorate their deceased loved ones by visiting tombs. (Xinhua/Mu Yu)
 
BEIJING, April 5, 2017 -- For more than 2,500 years, the Qingming Festival, or Tomb-sweeping Day, has been an occasion for Chinese to mourn the deceased and worship their ancestors. Today, although there have been changes, the tradition is well preserved.
 
COMMEMORATION
 
Shi Yukun has spent 15 hours flying from Birmingham to Kaifeng in central China's Henan Province via Frankfurt and Beijing.
 
"To me, Qingming is an important holiday second only to Spring Festival," he said.
 
Shi remembered that when he was young, the entire family would plan a trip several days before the festival. They prepared sacrifices and went to the graveyard in groups.
 
"The little ones knelt down in front of the tomb while the adults performed rituals of worship," he said. "The children also had their tasks: folding the burning paper. The fastest would be rewarded during the picnic."
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