Shandong Culture

Qingming Festival in ancient Chinese poems

By Li Ping ( Updated: 2019-04-05


Qingming Festival in ancient Chinese poems

2. Silk - Washing Stream

Spring sheds a mild and wild light on Cold Food Day;
Jade burner spreads the dying incense like a spray.
Walking, I find my hairpin under pillow stray.
The swallows not yet come, a game of grass we play;
Willow down wafts while mume blossoms fade away.
In drizzling rain at dusk the garden swing won't sway.

Silk—Washing Stream is a poem by Song Dynasty poet Li Qingzhao (1084-1155), one of the leading female poets of the time.

The Cold Food Festival or Hanshi Festival, as mentioned in the poem, is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated one day before the Qingming Festival. On that day, people only eat cold food. It was not until the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that the practice of Hanshi was replaced by Qingming.