It was a clear day in March, and the air was still cold on this morning of early spring in Beijing.
The Qingming Festival is traditionally a time for courtship, making sure the spirits are content and enjoying picnics and other outdoor activities with the coming of the better weather.
Ecological burial services are gaining popularity across China, as the authorities try to ease the severe shortage of cemetery space.
Chinese traditionally believe that souls may rest in peace only if their bodies properly buried underground in coffins. But today, many are becoming open to other options, like scattering ashes in the sea or inlaying funeral urns in walls.
With the rapid expansion of China’s high-speed rail network, cities that were considered far from Beijing are now only a short ride away.
Drivers of passenger cars could enjoy a toll-free journey during the coming Tomb Sweeping holiday in April.
Photos & videos
The Qingming Cultural Festival which features performances, Song Dynasty (960-1279) dresses and honoring ancestors opens in Kaifeng city, Henan province on April 3.
A street vendor on Yincheng street, Dexing city, Jiangxi province removes boiled Ai Fruit from a pot of boiling water.
Sea burial held in China's Tianjin ahead of Qingming Festival
Citizens have begun to remember and honour their deceased family members and ancestors as the annual Qingming Festival draws near.
Tea farmers here are busy with picking tea leaves before the Qingming Festival which falls on April 4 this year, as this kind of tea is regarded to have the best taste among all green teas.
With drumbeats thundering and lions dancing, the Beijing Xicheng District Shichahai Maiden Voyage Ceremony was kicked off on the lakeside of Shichahai on April 20, 2011.
About the festival
Qingming Festival, means clear and bright in Chinese, is the day for mourning the dead. It falls in early April every year.
Qinming Festival originated from Hanshi Day, a memorial day for Jie Zitui. Jie Zitui died in 636 BC in the Spring and Autumn Period. He was one of many followers of Duke Wen of Jin before he became a Duke.
Haishi Day (or Cold Food Day) is the very day just before the Qingming Festival (also named Tomb Sweeping Day, or Clear and Bright Festival). On the Hanshi day every year, no fire or smoke is allowed and people shall eat cold food for the whole day.
Qingming was frequently mentioned in Chinese Literature. Among these, the most famous one is probably Du Mu's poem (simply titled "Qingming")