清明 – Chinese philosophy and culture

qīngmíng 清明

The Qingming Festival

中华民族四大传统节日(春节、清明节、端午节、中秋节)之一,是中国传统岁时体系中唯一与节气合一的节日,通常在4月4或5或6日。唐以前,清明主要作为二十四节气之一,反映自然时节的变化,与农事息息相关。唐宋以后,清明节取代寒食节而成为节日,寒食节原有的祭祖扫墓、吃冷食等成为清明节俗的内容。此时万物生气旺盛,人们顺应季节的变化,又有郊游踏青、插柳、放风筝、荡秋千等活动。时至今日,清明仍是中国人生活中具有特殊意义的节日。2006年5月20日,经国务院批准,清明节被列入中国第一批国家级非物质文化遗产名录。

It is one of the four major traditional festivals, namely, the Spring Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, that are celebrated by the Chinese. It is the only Chinese festival which occurs on one of the solar terms of the traditional calendar, usually on April 4, 5 or 6. Prior to the Tang Dynasty, Qingming functioned primarily as one of the 24 solar terms that reflected natural changes of seasons and were closely associated with timing of agricultural activities. After the Tang and Song dynasties, Qingming took the place of the Hanshi (“Cold Food”) Festival, and the practices of sweeping ancestral graves and eating cold food became prominent features of the Qingming Festival. At this time of year, with the coming of spring, all living things are bursting with vitality, and people go on country outings, plant willows, fly kites and play on swings. Today, Qingming has remained a festival of special significance to the Chinese. On May 20, 2006, it was put on the first list of national-level intangible cultural heritages by the Chinese government.

引例 Citations:

◎清明时节雨纷纷,路上行人欲断魂。

借问酒家何处有?牧童遥指杏花村。(杜牧《清明》)

(清明时节下着纷纷小雨,路上的行人十分惆怅。向别人询问什么地方有酒家?牧童遥遥地指向杏花村。)

In the drizzling rain of Qingming, / A traveler walks with a heavy heart. / He asks, “Where can I find an inn?” / In response, a cowherd points to a village where apricot trees are in bloom. (Du Mu: Qingming)

◎燕子来时新社,梨花落后清明。(晏殊《破阵子》)

(燕子飞来的时候是春社,梨花飘落后就到了清明节。)

When the swallows return, it is the Spring Observance; / And after the pear blossoms fall, it is Qingming. (Yan Shu: Pozhenzi)

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