April 4th is the Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day of 2016. And people will free from work for ancestor worship on that day. Usually the Tomb Sweeping Day falls on April 4th, 5th, or 6th each year.
Together with the weekend before or after the Tomb Sweeping Day, Chinese people could have a 3 days Tomb Sweeping Day Holiday. After the ancestor, people would take the chance to do a Spring Trip.
The tradition of Tomb Sweeping has its root in the Tang Dynasty and the contact of that day become increasingly rich in the follow dynasties. The famous Chinese Painting Qingming Shanghe Tu (清明上河图) by Zhang Zeduan in North Song Dynasty describes the scene around Bianhe River in Kaifeng City.
Many Eastern Countries have the special day like Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day, like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, etc.
There are quite a few traditions of Tomb Sweeping Day well kept from ancient time in China
* Ancestor worshiping
On that day, families would take some wine, fruit, dessert, and drinking water to their ancestors’ tomb for worshiping. At the same time they will bring some after-life money (a kind of paper money especially printed for the dead), paper jacket and paper living goods to tomb to burn. Though burning paper things to ancestor is superstitious today, ancient Chinese culture believes people go to the under-ground world when they pass away where have no thing to support their daily life. Ann the daily utensils need to be offered by their relatives still alive. After cleaning tome and paper things burning, families will enjoy the eatable things in front of the tomb. That equals to a reunion meal with their ancestor to some extent.
* Spring Outing
If weather allows, people would go for spring trip. Most of them would choose city skirt or some large park to have some bright sunlight, to feel gentle spring breeze and to see the brand fresh color of Spring. Some people may look for some wild vegetable and boil them to try the most natural and fresh taste.
* Flying Kites
Flying kites is a favorable outdoor activity in China. In ancient time, people flew kite in both day time and night time. At night, people may tie several light lanterns to kite. When the kite is high in the sky, the lanterns looked like twinkle stars. Some people may cut the kite sting when the kite fly to sky. They believed the future bad fortune would gone with the kite.
* Holiday Tour
Nowadays people take the tree days holiday to have a short tour to nearby cities. So the Tomb Sweeping Day Holiday is one of the peak season for domestic tourist.