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It’s true, this festival can be a very grave occasion, but its purpose is two-fold: to honour those who have passed on and celebrate their memory.

Tomb sweeping is the most important custom, and family members come together at burial sites to clear weeds, lay fresh soil and offer gifts. Then the family goes on an outing to fly kites, sing, dance and be merry. 

Why: The date signals a time of year when temperatures rise and rainfall increases, which was historically the best time for ploughing the fields.

The rain symbolises the falling of tears, but the coming of spring – meaning rebirth and celebration – makes them tears of joy in true festival spirit.

Do ti because: More sombre than some, this offers time for reflection as well as celebration.

Tourists can join in activities, such as kite flying which goes into the night when lanterns are attached to the strings, and plant a tree to mark the occasion. 

China
April 4 -6
cnto.org

 

Photo: Getty


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