Why does Qingming need to sweep the grave? This is the best answer I've heard

2021-04-03 | National Pavilion Original |

Ching Ming is a grand "madness".

It is another year of spring and green grass, and another year of Qingming.

April in the world, pear blossoms wind up, today's main theme is to get together and parting; it is grief and comfort.


When I was a child, I followed the adults to go to the tomb, listening to them telling the same story year after year, I felt a little disinclined in my heart, and I was more interested in the set of "painting, changing paper, incense, burning paper money, putting"Firecrackers" ceremony.

Until I am getting older, some of the adults who told stories at the beginning have become stories from others, and they gradually understand:

Ching Ming bears countless thoughts and joys and sorrows; and tomb sweeping is not only a tribute to the ancestors, but also a comfort to one's soul.


Bai Juyi has a poem: "Tang Lihua reflects the white poplar tree, it is a place for life and death."

There is a trace of sorrow in the Qingming background.

The most important thing on this day is to sweep the tomb. Bring the sacrifices, pick up the sickle, and carry the hoe, and the whole family will go out formidable.

On the road, the elders will often recite anecdotes from previous years, or reminisce about the past, or lament the time, and the words are often accompanied by a little bit of emotion and regret.

When we arrived at the cemetery of the ancestors, the whole family started to chop branches and weeds, dig the ditch and cultivate the soil, then put the sacrifices, replace the talisman paper, trace the red paint, and repair the old tomb.


Then the elders lighted incense and guided the children to kneel down one after another, chanting words of ancestor blessing, with a solemn expression.

After the worship, the adults will tell the children the stories of their ancestors to let them know where their ancestors came from, what they experienced, and where they went.

I have read a sentence: In this life, only by standing in front of the graves of ancestors can you really understand where your roots are.

We walk in this human world, like a kite floating in the air. The root is the line that draws us, giving us the confidence to move forward and the support when we are tired.

We pay attention to "fallen leaves return to roots", no matter how far away you go, where your roots are, your soul is.

A colleague said that in his hometown, there is an indispensable ritual during the tomb sweeping every year during the Qingming Festival-burning sacrificial texts.

The sacrificial text records the life achievements of the ancestors and some basic information of the descendants, such as identity, name, gender, etc.

They believe that by burning sacrificial texts, they can comfort the ancestors, let the ancestors know their inheritance, and let future generations remember where their roots are.

Grave-sweeping is our memorial and yearning for our ancestors, as well as our spiritual sustenance and emotional release.

Ching Ming is a day that can easily pull out countless memories. It allows you to remember where you came from, remember your ancestors, and remember the past and thoughts that have long been erased by time.


It is said in "Dream Quest" that a person will die three times in his life:

The first time he died when he died, biologically he died.

The second time when he was buried, people came to attend his funeral and missed his life. He died in society.

The third time is the last person who remembers him, forgets him, then he really died.

The end of life is not death, but forgetting.

Just as Shi Tiesheng mentioned in "Grandma's Star", grandma said to him when he was young: "When a person dies, he becomes a star. If a person dies on the ground, there is an extra star in the sky."

Whenever he looks up and sees the stars, Shi Tiesheng thinks of grandma. When the stars are there, grandma is there.

Those who miss will never die, they just change a place and live in people's hearts.


Lin Qingxuan once said: "If people can return happily, death cannot kill people, but people kill death."

Ching Ming is a festival to face death.

And we often lack the courage to face death. Because we can never prepare for a farewell to our loved ones.

A netizen once shared her story:

On the day my grandma passed away, my mother held me and cried for a long time. She whimpered like a child and said: "Mom has no mother anymore." I was still young, just because I lost an old man who loved me very much.I feel sad. I didn’t realize the sadness of my mother that day until I saw this sentence: "Parents are here, there is still a place in life; when parents go, there is only a way back in life", I suddenly realized the sadness of my mother that day.

In our traditional culture, death is always kept secret.

4 is unlucky, so the 4th floor must be called 3A; death cannot be said to be dead, but "go" must be said; chopsticks cannot be placed directly on the rice... all kinds of taboos show that we have long avoided and feared death.

The most valuable thing about Qingming is that it gives us a chance to face death and learn goodbye.

I remember an elder once said: "If there is no regret, maybe we will not miss it."

Standing before the tomb, recalling the life of the owner of the tomb, no matter the ups and downs, or the mediocre, it is inevitable that there are some regrets and sorrows, but that is the most true taste of life.

Birth, old age, sickness and death, natural reincarnation, never favoring anyone. We can't control life and death, but we should face parting calmly.

From the beginning of our birth, life has set the tone of "separation"-separation from the mother's womb at birth, separation from the original family when entering marriage, separation from the vigorous vitality when entering middle-aged and old age...

We have grown up in this separation again and again, and we have also matured in this farewell again and again.


As Haizi said: "Farewell is the path of asceticism to growth".

Each separation means turning a new page in your life. You must always learn to say goodbye to live this life well.

One year is clear and bright, one year old is a memorial. Only after experiencing life and death, I know how to love and cherish better.

Farewell does not mean forgetting, but learning to accept regrets and take a new journey in life.

So during the Tomb-sweeping season, after sweeping tombs, there are more greetings between relatives and friends. The elders talk about parents' shortcomings, and children laugh and play... The interweaving of life and death has never been so coordinated at this time.

The deceased is dead, the living is like this, living well is the best comfort to the deceased.

Ching Ming is to let us learn to say goodbye with love and get along with love.


Someone once asked on Zhihu: Why does Qingming have to go home?

There is a high praise answer: the relatives are busy with their lives, taking advantage of the Qingming Festival to pay homage to the ancestors, it is necessary for everyone to get together and connect with each other. Otherwise, everyone will gradually become alienated when their parents are gone, even if only for the purpose of getting togetherI will go back too.

Yes, for people in a foreign country, every festival has the same meaning, that is, "go home".

In the Qingming season, not only the spring rains, but also the family members.

On weekdays, you may be busy with each other, taking advantage of the Qingming Festival to gather together, even if it is just a few casual words, it seems precious.

Our purpose of returning home from Qingming is not just to put incense on the graves of our ancestors, but also to comfort our souls.

Yu Dan once said: "Ching Ming Festival is often the time to wash the heart."

Ching Ming is a grand "madness".

Adults who are depressed on weekdays finally have a reason to vent their emotions and don’t have to work hard to act as an "emotionally stable" adult.

Under the influence of more than 2500 years of Confucian culture, we are accustomed to "denying ourselves and restoring rituals" and advocating "happiness and anger do not show up in color". This is certainly not wrong, but it also cuts off our desire and way to talk.

Those sorrows that you can't talk about on weekdays can only be poured out by the opportunity of clear grief. You don't have to worry about the strange eyes of others, and no one will persuade you to forbear it. How rare!

Just like Mr. Ji Xianlin, who has always been open-minded and magnanimous in the eyes of outsiders, when he returned to his hometown to sweep the grave at the age of 90, he thumped and knelt down in front of his parents' grave and kept kowtow.

After returning to Beijing, he took a pen to write the 24,000-word "Hometown Trip" and said: "Mother, this is probably the last time your son has come to sweep your grave, and I will sleep next to you in the future!"

Work and life exhaustion and pressure, put aside for the time being. At this moment, you only need to be yourself.

Clear the trash of the soul, you can see the bright willows. Ching Ming is a self-healing spiritual spa for the Chinese nation.

I still remember the tomb sweeping when I was young. At the end of the day, adults would light a string of firecrackers. At this time, the timid child had already covered his ears and still couldn't stop the "cracking" sound.

The deafening sound of firecrackers may also be the shouts that the adults have suppressed for a long time. When the sound is over, my heart will be brightened.

Although firecrackers are no longer set off now, I can always remember the previous pictures.

In the depths of the mountain, cigarettes are everywhere, the sound of firecrackers one after another... One sound, so far, so clear.

Sweeping the grave during the Qingming Festival is not only a memorial to the dead, but also a comfort for the living.

After all, the dead have no place in the living world. The fireworks in the world have nothing to do with them. Only a stick of incense in front of the grave carries the grief of the living.

Smoothing dust, with sorrow and sorrow in the world, the wind blows, and then it dissipates.

Ewha winds up and clears the light, have you returned to your hometown this year to sweep the grave? Who is the person walking with you? Who are you thinking of again?

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