Qingming Festival 2012 falls on April 4
As one of the 24 Chinese solar terms and an important traditional festival of China, Qingming Festival usually falls on the 4th, 5th, or 6th of April every year. Commonly translated to be “Tomb-Sweeping Day” or “Pure Brightness Festival” in English, it always comes on the 103rd day (one day later in leap years) after the winter solstice. For more than 2500 years, Chinese have been going to tidy up their ancestors’ tombs and burn joss sticks and “paper money” to show respect and express love.
Photo: Part of "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival", a famous ancient Chinese painting by Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145).
Qingming Festival became a legal holiday since 2008, which means the public have a legal holiday of one day to do this traditional filial duty if the day does not fall on weekend. However, the truth is, the festival is usually adjusted to be a three-day holiday in consideration of those who work away from home. Take this year for example, we get the holiday on April 4, Wednesday. But for a longer holiday, it is regulated by the State Council that this weekend (March 31 & April 1) are work days and the public will have another two free days on April 2 and 3, which bring most people sufficient time to go back home and return to work.
--- By Cindy (Visit Our China)