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Celebrations and remembrance during Qingming festival

Qingming festival is a time for spring outings, spring plowing, and other activities reflecting the change in seasons. While the festival has shared meanings for Chinese people everywhere, the ways of marking the day can be very different.

This is the annual Silk Flower Temple Fair in the city of Deqingxin. The city is known historically for producing silk and was one of the key locations on the ancient silk road. It is a custom for young women dressed in traditional clothing to parade down the street, handing out decorative flowers made from silk. Though in recent years that custom has shifted to handing out candy, the spirit remains the same.

“I wish all the people who make silk for a living a good harvest,” said a local resident.

“The atmosphere is great, we take part every year,” said another resident.

The parade also features a colorful variety of costumes and performances. The municipal government hopes the event will revive traditional culture in the city.

Meanwhile, also in Zhejiang province, residents in Sunshine Village near the city of Changxinlin are making Qingtuan. Qingtuan is a form of dumpling common throughout Chinese cuisine, made from glutinous rice mixed with Chinese mugwort or barley grass. The filling is usually filled with sweet red or black bean paste.

“We make Qingtuan during the Qingming festival, we begin preparing a few days before the festival. It is a tribute to our ancestors,” said a local resident.

Qingtuans are hot in demand this time of the year. Businesses sell by the dozens at a time. One small shop like this sells more than three thousand Qingtuans during the days around the Qingming festival. It highlights the respect people have for their ancestors and tradition.