Qingming Festival in Darwin
The Qingming Festival Darwin, is also translated as The Grave Sweeping Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day in English, and usually falls around April 4 or 5in the gregorian calendar. Qingming (清明) is the second of 24 solar terms on the traditional Chinese solar calendar.
Traditionally the Qingming Festival in China has a close relationship with agriculture it is the date the temperatures begin to rise and rainfall increases, indicating that it is the crucial time for plowing and sowing in the spring. However, it is not only a seasonal symbol; it is also a day of paying respect to the dead, a spring outing, and a time for people to go outside and start enjoying the greenery of spring.
However, Tomb sweeping is regarded as the most important custom in the Qingming Festival from which the name of Tomb-sweeping Festival got its name. Cleaning the tomb and paying respect to the dead with offerings are the two important parts of remembering past relatives. Weeds around the tomb are cleared away and fresh soil is added to show respect to the dearly departed. The dead person’s favourite food and wine are taken to sacrifice to them, along with paper resembling money. This is all burned in the hope that the deceased are not lacking food and money. Kowtow before the tablets set up for the dead are made also. But for most Chinese in China the Qingming Festival is a time of many different activities, among which the main ones are tomb sweeping.
Today, with cremation taking over from burying, the custom has been extremely simplified in cities. Only flowers are presented to the dead relatives and revolutionary martyrs. No matter how respect is shown, good prayers for the deceased are expressed.
At the Darwin Chinese Cemetery there is a single Japanese tomb amongst all the Chinese graves