in Chinese Capital
A Thousand Years Ago
Among countless Chinese artistic masterpieces Tomb Weeping Festival Scroll (Qingming
Scroll, 清明上河图) is one of those that are best known and most
praised. Created by Zhang Zeduan (张择端) of North Song
Dynasty (北宋 960-1127), the whole painting is sized at a massive 0.248 x 5.28 meters, depicting in a vivid
details the urban and rural scenes of the then Chinese capital
Bianliang (汴梁, at today's Kaifeng 开封) and its outskirts on
the Tomb Sweeping Festival day a thousand years ago.
For Chinese, Tomb Sweeping Festival
is a time to pay tributes to one's ancestors and
deceased family members by visiting and sweeping their graveyards and
presenting relevant offerings, from incense, food, paper-cut
daily accessories to flowers. The long tradition as
such is believed by many to be one of the crucial factors
that have contributed to the exceptional longevity of the Chinese
civilization and its extraordinary ability to undergo
self-renewal and regeneration, as the link in the time dimension
is vigorously reinforced annually.
The festival is half a month after the Spring Equinox, and
usually falls on 5 April; but sometimes, it occurs on 4
April, like this year. Since 2008, Tomb Sweeping Festival
has officially become a public holiday in
the mainland China.
followings are clips from the Tomb Sweeping Festival
The central boulevard in the capital is broad enough
to accommodate a royal carriage drawn by 20 horses.
The boulevard is also a main commercial street with
teahouses, restaurants, guesthouses and shops lining up on both sides.
Residential areas are behind the shop front.
Large-scaled courtyard houses normally open to a quiet street away from the
Private gardens of the huge compound are further located
at the back of the dwellings.
On this year's Tomb Sweeping Festival, a historical scene was recreated in provincial capital
Kaifeng, previously the North Song capital Bianliang, with
artists wearing Song-style customs and performing the activities
portrayed in the celebrated Tomb Sweeping Festival Scroll.Prev:
Tibetan's Voice (3)
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Tomb Weeping Festival Today
When Chinese mourn their lost
loved ones, heaven weeps with tears, literally. It was always
the case before, and it is still the case this year. So it
rained on the day of the Tomb Sweeping Festival. To many Chinese cultural masters, this is only natural because
it is called in traditional Chinese believe system as
correlation of heaven and man (天人感应).
According to the official statistics,
around 120 million people in mainland China have popped up their umbrellas and walked
into the rain heading for the cemeteries on Saturday, which is
a 30 percent increase in participation level comparing to last
(Source of info and photo: 张国俊摄新华社)
Since 2 April, the sealed town
Beichuan, in the centre of the deadly 5.12 earthquake that killed around 8,000 people
in Sichuan last year, temporarily reopened to the former residents,
so as to allow them to revisit the site where their loved ones
are buried underneath. Tributes for the victims also poured
in via online services throughout the nation.
(Source of info & photo:
钟敏 摄, 新华社发)