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Qingtuan, orgreen rice balls, are widely consumed in China\’sJiangnanarea —the region south of the Yangtze River — on Qingming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival.


The seasonaldelicaciesare usually made from glutinous rice powder mixedwith poundedmugwort orwormwood —an edible wild herb thought toprevent toxic insect bites.Itis traditionally stuffed withred bean paste, black sesame paste, or dried meat floss.








比起清明节(Tomb Sweeping Festival),大多数人对寒食节(Cold Food Festival)可能没有那么熟悉。寒食节在冬至后105天,在清明节前与清明相连。所谓“寒食”,就是禁止生火,不能烧煮,只能吃事先准备好的冷食。

Tomb Sweeping Festivalis closely linked with the Hanshi or Cold Food Festival. The latter was another festival observed in ancient China. On this day, people were not allowed to light a fire to cook. Instead, they could only eat food prepared a day earlier, hence the name, cold food.


Legend has it that Chong\’er, a prince of Jin, endured many hardships while he moved around the warring states. Once, when the prince was tormented by hunger, Jie Zitui, one of his supporters, offered him food.

Later, when Chong\’er became the duke of Jin, he ordered a search for Jie who had gone into hiding in the remote mountains with his mother. The duke wanted Jie to serve as one of his ministers.

Jie, who preferred to be a hermit in the Mianshan Mountain in today\’s Jiexiu city of Shanxi, had no political ambitions and refused the duke\’s invitation.


Chong\’er ordered the mountain to be burned down to force Jie out of hiding. Unfortunately, Jie did not give in and the fire ended up killing him and his mother.

Filled with remorse, Chong\’er ordered that during the three days around this tragic anniversary the setting of fire be forbidden. This meant all food was eaten cold. Therefore the festival is thus named.


Interestingly, the Cold Food Festival is the only tradition Chinese festival that is named after food customs.


祭祖 Worshiping Ancestors


Tomb Sweeping Festival is a period in which Chinese people honor nature and the ancestors of the Chinese nation.


Cleaning the tombs and paying respect to the dead with offerings are the two important practices to remember late relatives. Weeds around the tomb are cleared away and fresh soil is added to show care for the dead. The dead person\’s favorite food, wine and chopsticks are offered on their tombs, along with paper money.

踏青 Spring Outing


Not only is it a period for commemorating the dead, it is also time for people to go out and enjoy nature.Strolling outside in spring adds joy to life and promotes a healthy body and mind.


As trees turn green, flowers blossom, and the sun shines brightly, everything returns to life. It is a fine time to appreciate the beauty of nature. This custom can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476BC) and Warring States Period (475 – 221BC).

放风筝 Flying Kites


Flying kites is an activity favored by many Chinese during Tomb-Sweeping Day. What makes flying kites during this day special is that people cut the string while the kite is in the sky to let it fly free. It is said this brings good luck and that diseases can be chased away by doing this.








A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;

The mourner\’s heart is going to break on his way.

Where can a wineshop be found to drown his sad hours?

A cowherd points to a cot \’mid apricot flowers.

来源:中国日报 21世纪英文报

栏目主编:秦红 文字编辑:宋彦霖 题图来源:图虫 图片编辑:徐佳敏


关于作者: 上观新闻



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