It's weekend in Shanghai but more than a regular weekend: it's Qingming Festival.
A time also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day. It's the annual Chinese festival for showing respect to and commemorate ancestors and tomb sweeping is among the most important activities during this long weekend in China. Kite flying is also a super popular activity, I'm still not sure how this fits into the purpose of the holiday!
Incense & Burning Gifts
Last weekend we went back to Qibao temple in the old part of Qibao to show family around. Here we were told by monks that people already had started to burn incense and gifts for their ancestors so we decided to burn a light for our own ancestors.. Still I was wondering about how they would actually burn gifts? Then this week my Shanghainese colleague told me that many Chinese people buy expensive paper gifts which they bring to their ancestors' graves to burn and in this way they believe the gift goes to their ancestors (for example a super detailed paper house, comparable to a doll house, which will be brought to the grave just to be burned... and can easily cost several thousands). Our incense burning session was less than 3Kuai but I guess it's not about the amount spent on commemoration in the end...
Qingming Festival With a Bamboo View
For us Qingming means a long weekend, one actually giving us some Easter holiday. As I'm very soon off for another big Europe project and Leon's off to work in Hong Kong, we felt like a super tranquil Qingming get-away. Not difficult to agree on going back to Moganshan - the quiet & green bamboo mountain only 3 hours semi-easy travel from Shanghai (most important: only ground transport, no flying, YES).
Due to holiday time we were prepared that Moganshan might not be as quiet as normally but we managed to find quiet times for reading, tranquil trails for hiking and good spots for the most yummy Chinese food with lots of fresh bamboo shoots!
For more details on Moganshan and how to get there from Shanghai check my other Moganshan post under Trips & Travel or find it here.
Hope you're all having a good Qingming Festival & Happy Easter =D