How to commemorate the Qingming Festival and stay green

Updated 2017-03-31 14:00:52 CGTN

A group of university students are taking part in a special campaign aimed at encouraging people to celebrate next Tuesday's Qingming Festival in a suitably environmentally-friendly manner.

Also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Qingming Festival is usually observed on the first day of the fifth solar terms in the Chinese traditional calendar, and is a time for honoring deceased family relatives.

Traditional celebrations include visiting the burial grounds, cleaning tombstones and leaving large bounties of food behind. Another notable custom has been that of burning symbolic money and replicas of material goods such as cars, in the hope that their ancestors will acquire said goods in the afterlife.

However, with concerns that excessive burning may have a detrimental effect on China's air quality, local governments have been eager to encourage more low-carbon alternative measures.

With this mind, students from Liaocheng University in east China's Shandong Province produced several paintings and pictures depicting people paying respects to their deceased family members in a greener way than usual, by leaving bunches of flowers instead of baskets of leftover food, and avoiding the burning of money and other sacrifices.

Back in 2011, one cemetery in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing even provided thousands of bunches of free flowers to people who had promised not to use incense sticks or burn paper sacrifices during the Qingming celebrations.

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