How To Celebrate the Qingming Festival as an Expat in China

Rachel Weiss
Rachel Weiss

I'm an American who has been in China for three years! Read more about my adventures here: www.rachelmeetschina.com

 / Apr 7, 2019

The Qingming Festival is a special holiday in China that usually falls on April 4th or 5th. Also known as the “Pure Brightness Festival” or Tomb Sweeping Day, during this holiday Chinese families will honor their ancestors by visiting their tombs, cleaning the gravesites, and making offerings.


The Qingming Festival has a long history in China and has been celebrated for over 2500 years. It officially became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008, and people will have a day off work to visit their ancestors. Families will make qingtuan, a special kind of dumpling that is green and made of glutinous rice and filled with a bean paste. They will also visit parks, fly kites, and spend time enjoying the spring weather together.






Because Qingming creates a three-day weekend, many people will also use this time to travel, especially expats living in China. This is a less crowded time to travel than the Spring Festival, and it is much easier to get train tickets and flights as well!


**Read more about expert tips for planning a trip in China.


Here are some places in China and out of China that expats visited during their Qingming Festival - check out all of their photos on our Instagram Highlights and follow them to see more about living and traveling in China.


Oli Barton – Guizhou, China


"Taking in the awesome views of Wanfenglin, Guizhou. Couldn't help but constantly compare to Yangshuo in neighbouring Guangxi!" Follow Oli on Instagram.







Charnes Spies – Lijiang, Yunnan, China


"The well worn stones tell the tale of Lijiang. Honestly, the people have been the most friendly and genuine humans I’ve yet to find in China." Follow Charne on Instagram.





Amy Louise – Seoul, South Korea


"Running into walls as often as possible... at the King's Cross, Harry Potter Cafe in Seoul." Follow Amy on Instagram.





Thomas Hudkins – Huangshan, Anhui, China


"Hiking through the hills and fields of the Anhui Province in China is like flipping through a National Geographic magazine." Follow Thomas on Instagram.





Lydia Niesen – Xi’an, China


"When I have time off work so does a majority of China. Fighting the crowds to see the Terracotta Warriors. Solo travel has its advantages in that I can move faster through the masses than a group!" Follow Lydia on Instagram.





Jeanette Van der Westhuizen - Guilin, China


"Tea party in session! I learnt SO MUCH about tea from Kevin at the Guilin Tea Research Institute. There are actually only six kinds of tea which includes green tea, yellow tea, white tea, black tea, oolong tea and fermented tea. They all come from the same bush, it just depends which part of the bush and also the process afterwards. We then had a lovely tea ceremony and practiced our newfound tea skills at home!" Follow Jeanette on Instagram.




Travel During the Qingming Festival


There are so many places to travel during the Qingming Festival! Even though it is not a very long holiday, you can still plan a fantastic trip somewhere. Read more about holidays in China and how to make the most of your time off.


If you'd like to teach abroad and have the chance to travel during your holiday time, check our available positions and apply today!


For all other topics related to living and working in China, read The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China


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Rachel Weiss

I'm an American who has been in China for three years! Read more about my adventures here: www.rachelmeetschina.com