Festival of Pure Brightness
Festival of Pure Brightness is also called Tomb-Sweeping Day. It is the occasion for all Chinese to honor their ancestors.
Date: the 12th day of the 3rd lunar month
Origin: It is said that this festival was set up to memorialize Jie Zitui, a man of noted loyalty during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 B.C.). He helped his lord when his lord's crown and power were in jeopardy. When his lord's power was restored, Mr. Jie, who preferred to living in a peaceful life, refused to accept a position his lord offered to him. He escaped with his mother to a mountain. His lord set a fire to try to force him out, and then force him accept the position. Mr. Jie died in the fire. To memorialize Mr. Jie, his lord set aside the day he died as the original Festival of Pure Brightness.
Food: Because Jie Zitui had been killed by a fire, it became a tradition to abstain from lighting fires on that Day. On the day of the festival, people would only eat cold foods that had been prepared the day before.
Activities: Customs related to Festival of Pure Brightness: sweeping the tombstones of ancestors, burning ceremonial paper money for the dead, going to the suburbs, swinging, flying a kite, cockfighting, and playing ball, etc.
Go to Dragon Boat Festival page