Monday, April 2, 2012


Wednesday marks the festival of Qingming or Tomb Sweeping Day. For the Chinese, Qingming is a time when families honor their ancestors by gathering at their grave sites and literally sweeping the tombs. They will also offer gifts like food, tea, wine, and burn paper accessories they believe the deceased might need in the afterlife. However, Qingming is not only a day of remembrance. It has also become a day to celebrate the coming of spring, often by participating in outdoor activities and flying kites.

One of the traditional foods eaten during Qingming is the qingtuan. It is a very green, glutinous rice ball, traditionally filled with bean curd. Qingtuan dates back over 2,000 years to the Zhou dynasty.

While popular all year, tuan are readily available leading up to Qingming. The day prior to Qingming is another ancient event, Hanshi, which means cold food. Traditionally, only cold foods are eaten during this time, of which qingtuan is the most popular.

While we won't be sweeping any graves, we do plan to spend our Qingming holiday outdoors while checking out some local street fairs and hunting down the best qingtuan in town (the one pictured above was definitely not it).


  1. You look really pretty. Love the outfit!

  2. We tried some qingtuan for the first time the other day, and unfortunately could not get into them. Tastes too much like grass... Tried to pawn them off on our Chinese teacher, but she doesn't like them either!


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