清明节 Qingming Festival 2021
April 4, 2021 - Qingming Festival (清明节) or Tomb-Sweeping Day, a national holiday for paying respects by visiting tombs or going to temples. It is also about precious family time together and enjoying the spring weather and blossoms outside in parks or countryside.
Qingming falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. The festival has been practiced by Chinese people for more than 2500 years since the era of the ‘Spring and Autumn Period’ (770 to 476 BC). In today’s China it has been a national holiday since 2008.
Popular foods are among others Qingtuan green rice balls (glutinous rice with mugwort or wormwood herb), Sanzi fried dough twists or Zitui steamed buns, shaped in animals or flowers.
In the world of green tea, Qingming marks an important date as well. The very first green tea leaves and sprouts harvested before the date of Qingming are considered the first and finest tea harvest of the new season; the renowned Pre-Qingming (Mingqian) teas, highly praised for their delicate and fresh flavours and aromas.
Especially Pre-Qingming Longjing tea (龙井茶, literally translated to Dragon Well tea) harvested in the West Lake area around Hangzhou is renowned for its unique quality.