Ⅰ.The Origin of Festivals 1. What is traditional Chinese calendric system? Or nongli? Or the Agricultural calendar? 2. What is the Gregorian calendar?
The ancient Chinese calendric system a combination of the solar system and the lunar system nongli, the agricultural calendar a month -- a complete moon change cycle a year-- a solar year a leap month
four seasons a year, 72 houa (a day consists of 12 double hours (shichen); five days make up a hou), 360 days. 24 jieqi : 24 seasonal periods indicating the obvious changes of weather when they come around, three hou make up a jieqi ) 12 months; three months make up a season, and four seasons make up a year
About the four seasons The first three months make up spring, the next three summer, the following three autumn, and the last three winter. Each season is subdivided into three equally long periods, namely early (meng), middle (zhong) and late (ji). For instance, early spring refers to the first month, middle spring the second month, and late spring the third month.
The first eight jieqi closely related to agricultural activities the Beginning of Spring, the Spring Equinox, the Beginning of Summer, the Summer Solstice, the Beginning of Autumn, the Autumn Equinox, the Beginning of Winter and the Winter Solstice During the Qin Dynasty, all 24 jieqi were defined
How festivals come into being Whenever two jieqi meet, a festival comes. some jieqi-related festivals have evolved into traditional festivals
nian (year) The Chinese ideograph nian (year) shows a person carrying ripe crop. The cycle of planting, growing and harvesting approximately equals the length of a year the leap month “Chinese year” is 364 days. The first day and the fifteenth day of some months have become important festivals.
The Spring Festival After the 1911 Revolution, the first day of the lunar month was defined as the Spring Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival: the 15th of the eighth lunar month, popular during the Tang and the Song dynasties. the fourth or fifth day of April: China’s Tomb Sweeping Day
Some other Chinese festivals Some Chinese festivals have evolved from this designation, E.g. May 5th has become the Dragon Boat Festival July 7th and September 9th
Another factor related to the forming of traditional Chinese festivals people’s spiritual demand hold memorial ceremonies, offering sacrifices to heaven and their ancestors. asking for blessings and praying for protection against disasters
Ⅱ.China’s Tomb Sweeping Day Rains fall heavily as Qingming comes, and passers-by with lowered spirits go. “ 清明时节雨纷纷，路上行人欲断魂。 ” --- Tang Dynasty writer Du Mu
a traditional day for the Chinese people to show respect for their ancestors
What do people do on this occasion? It is a time for remembering loved ones who have departed. On that day, Chinese visit their family graves to tend to any underbrush that has grown. Weeds are pulled, and dirt swept away, and the family will set out offerings of food and spirit money. With the passing of time, nowadays many people go to clean the surroundings of the tombs of their ancestors or relatives, burn incense and candles, and present flowers, fruit and some other sacrifice to their dearly departed in the cemetery.
Foods offered on Tomb Sweeping Day The foods offered on Tomb Sweeping Day vary by region. E.g. In Taiwan, the most common dishes are the distinctive ‘grave cakes’ and jun ping In mainland China, green glutinous rice balls
various forms of celebrating around the country In Xi‘an and Baoji cities, Shanxi Province, tens of thousands of people attended two separate public memorial ceremonies( 公祭 ) to commemorate Yandi and Huangdi, two legendary founders of the Chinese nation.
Huangd i Shennong tasting herbs South-pointing chariot compass Royal palace constructing Silkworm raising and weaving Ship building Cangjie making Chinese scripts
In Shanxi Province over 30,000 people including many overseas Chinese visited Hongdong County, North China, to look for their ancestral roots.
In Shanghai tens of thousands of people, including many students and outside visitors, pay tribute to martyrs who died in wars against foreign invasions and the Kuomintang regime.
In Chongqing a southwestern municipality, local people hold a special memorial service, to remember those who had donated their bodies for medical research. All the donors' names are to be carved on the memorial stones.
New Trends Many Chinese, especially young people, show their respects to the dead in new ways, such as planting trees or placing flowers in front of tomb stones instead of burning incense. Some people pay tribute online as many "virtual memorials" have been set up in recent years.
Do you know a legend related to this tradition? Key words : the Spring and Autumn Period, Jie Zhitui followed, Chong’er, the prince and later king of the Jin state the Mian Mountain, the 106th day after the Winter Solstice cold food and no fire
How the Tomb Sweeping Day comes into being This is how hanshi, the Cold Food Day, came into being. Due to the fact that Cold Food Day and Pure Brightness often fall on the same day, the two are combined to form a comprehensive folk festival, during which time people go and sweep their ancestors’ tombs.
My Questions -1 Why Tomb Sweeping Day has been added to the lists of China’s legal holidays as the national intangible cultural heritages?
My Questions -2 What do people traditionally do during the comprehensive folk festival? Sweep their ancestors’ tombs? What else? Swing? Go for an outing? Ancient Chinese football game? Plant trees? Fly kites? Transplant Willows?
Why a challenging task? 1. Children are afraid of talking about death; or they have no idea of what tomb sweeping day is. 2. Parents choose to evade the ghost day with some kind of sad color; 3. The School authorities feel it a challenging to celebrate the day in a much healthy way among young students.
Some unhealthy phenomena Some use government cars in traveling to sweep the tombs of their family members. some businessmen for selling funeral goods such as paper products of mistresses, cars, houses and cell phones to burn in front of tomb stones. Some living magnates built expensive groves for their heaven life ….
Your Creative Ideas… How can we change ‘the ghost day’ into a ‘ren jie’ with rich cultural connotations? How can we revitalize it into a ‘Thanksgiving Day’ of Chinese-style? What kind of public benefits activities can we initiate?