Qingming Festival (also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day) falls on either April 4th or 5th of the Gregorian calendar, and is one of the Chinese 24 Solar Terms. From that date temperatures begin to rise and rainfall increases, indicating that it is the crucial time for plowing and sowing in the spring. The festival therefore has a close relationship with agriculture. However, it’s not simply a seasonal symbol; it’s also a day of paying respect to the dead and enjoying a spring outing.
Qingming Festival involves various activities, including tomb sweeping, a spring outing, and flying kites. In the past, locals would practice customs such as wearing willow branches on the head and riding on swings as the festival is a combination of celebrating happiness and honoring the departed.
Source: The China National Tourist Offices (CNTO) – http://www.cnto.org