Twine willow branches for Qingming

Photo taken at a peach garden in Matou Town of Tancheng County, Linyi City, east China's Shandong Province in end of March shows boys twine willow branches into wreaths. (Photo by Fang Dehua)  

Linyi, April 4 (Linyi China) -- The Qingming Festival, or Tomb-Sweeping Day, is an important festival in China when people pay tribute to the dead. They visit the graves of their ancestors and offer sacrifices to them. The festival falls on April 5 this year.

We all know that the traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Of all the 24 solar terms, Clear and Bright, also means Qingming in Chinese, is the only one whose first day is also a traditional Chinese festival, Qingming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day. The words "clear" and "bright" describe the weather during this period.

For traditions of this festival, people believe that willow branches will drive away unwelcome ghosts and evil spirits. Therefore, willow branches are also known as "ghost terror wood".