On solar calendar April 4th, as the new awakens and cultivates their seedlings, we can’t help but return to our roots and commemorate the old. City dwellers return back to the countryside to worship their late ancestors and celebrate the beauty of familial loyalty.
The most common form of worship is tomb sweeping, set off the morning of the Qingming Festival. The practice consists of two parts – the laborious refurbish and pietous ceremony – in an annual attempt to revive not the dead, but the presence of them in forethought. Families pluck weds, remove the cakes of dust, and line tombstones with flowers, fruit, steamed buns, and wine.
Zi Fu Giant Bun
After sweeping, pulling weeds, and planting new soil, the family shares this meal with their late ancestors, leaving two or three for the dead to enjoy in the alternate realm. In Southern Shanxi province, cooks filled bleached flour-shells with walnuts, jujubes, and beans. A cooked egg, called Zi Fu 子福, serves as the nucleus of the bun as a blessing for future generations. These large steam buns ruled at the center of the dining table, steam rising to the ceiling and hulking over seated members.
Stir-fry vegetables and beef nestle in warm, thin dough for the ultimate wrap. This is actually one of the few dishes left from the Cold Food Festival, the parent of the Qingming Festival, which prohibited fire due to the Legend of Jie Zitui. Find our soft wrap recipe here.
Burning Joss Paper
By ceremoniously burning paper cash, money transcends the alternate universe in which ancestors spend them in heaven.
South of the Yangtze River, in the Zhejiang province浙江, in Fuzhou福州 and in Chaoshan 潮汕, steamed green buns––also known as Qingming Buns––are snacked on customarily during the festival. The flour wraps incorporate wild potherb greens like wheat straw, cudweed, or mugwood, wild species Chinese handpick in the flourishing nature. Find our green dumpling recipe here.
This holiday celebrates the turn of seasons, encouraging families outside of their homes to play sports, games, and activities they could not pursue outside of the holiday.
This traditional Qingming ball game, played in the town squares of ancient Chinese civilizations since the Tang and Song Dynasties, was invented by the Yellow Emperor to train warriors the beginning of modern football.