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.
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.