Qingming Festival, which falls on April 5 this year, is known as Tomb-Sweeping Day. Chinese people value it very much because it is the grandest festival for ancestor worship in China.
The festival always appears about the beginning of April when spring has come. Not only is it a period for commemorating the dead, it is also a time for people to go out and enjoy nature.
Roman poet Virgil once wrote: Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its colorful attire. In such a beautiful season, Chinese have a three-day vacation during the festival to go out to enjoy nature after a cold winter.
Where is the best place to go during the festival? Here are 10 popular tourist attractions.
1. Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Located in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, the Jiuzhaigou Valley is renowned for its scenic and aesthetic majesty. Its fairyland landscape of numerous lakes, waterfalls, and limestone terraces with their attractive, clear, mineral-rich waters are set in spectacular alpine mountains with a highly diverse forest ecosystem, demonstrating remarkable natural beauty.
In the spring, the sight of the Jiuzhaigou Valley is refreshing and touching. The ice and snow begin to melt, water and streams begin to flow and mountain flowers blossom. The air is filled with the fragrance of spring. The soft and lazy spring sun kisses the surface of the lake and new growth.
2. Mount Huangshan
Of all the notable mountains in China, Mount Huangshan is probably the most famous and is found in the southern part of East China’s Anhui province. It is famed for its stunning and peculiar natural scenery.
In the spring, Mount Huangshan is fresh, tender and full of wild flowers, as well as sprouting plants. The sound of birdsong also is pleasant in the quietness while you are enchanted by a great show of vitality.
3. Huanghuacheng Great Wall
Huanghuacheng is the only lakeside portion of the Great Wall in Beijing. It is one of the most popular destinations for a Great Wall hiking tour. It is in vogue because of the “train for spring”, namely a train that travels through orchards full of cherry blossoms.
The moment the train passes through the tunnel surrounded by the cherry blossoms, the petals fly in the sky, falling like rain. It is extremely romantic to take this train in spring with someone you love.
Gulangyu Island, known in the local dialect as Kulangsu, is on the estuary of the Jiulong River, facing the city of Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province. The island has witnessed clashes of culture and integration between the East and the West since Xiamen was opened to foreign trade in 1844.
Buildings here have a mixture of different architectural styles, including traditional southern Fujian style, western classical revival style and veranda colonial style.The best time to go Gulangyu is from March to May, because Gulangyu has a pleasant climate and beautiful scenery. It is definitely a good choice for the Qingming Festival.
5. Nyingchi prefecture
When spring approaches, most parts of Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous regions are still covered with snow, but Nyingchi the region’s southwest already has been immersed in a sea of peach blossoms.
Nyingchi has held 16 Peach Blossom Festivals since 2003. This year’s has begun since March 29. What are you waiting for? Take your camera and go to enjoy the beauty of peach blossoms and discover the spectacular culture of Nyingchi prefecture.
6. Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture
Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is the largest center of apricot cultivation in China. It mainly covers the area of the Tianshan Mountains and Ili River in Xinjiang.
In early spring of each year, apricot blossoms are everywhere. Pink petals hang all over the branches. The grasslands under the trees are wavy and the cattle and sheep are all over the country, just like a paradise.
7. Jinchuan county
Jinchuan county in Southwest China’s Sichuan province is known for the largest-scale pear blossom scenery on the plateau, as well as being one of the major pear suppliers nationwide.
Spring is the best time to enjoy the widespread pear blossoms in Jinchuan county. It is a time when vibrant vegetation retakes control of terraced land and valleys.
Dali, a city of great antiquity in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, is always a tempting destination, especially in spring, for those interested in exploring fascinating natural scenery and the area’s considerable historical and cultural heritage. It is renowned as a land of wonders, both natural and man-made, inspiring in visitors a great appetite for its beauty.
Dubbed “China’s most beautiful countryside”, Wuyuan in East China’s Jiangxi province becomes a huge yellow gem during spring. The county is the base for Hui culture and has nurtured countless scholars, officials and tradesmen.
Cole flowers blossom upon curved terraces, making them look like golden ribbons waving in the wind. Black-and-white Hui-style houses dot the landscape, forming what looks like a long scroll ink painting.
Yuantouzhu, northwest of Taihu Lake in Wuxi city, East China’s Jiangsu province, enjoys a reputation for its vast expanse of cherry blossoms and attracts many tourists every year. March and April mark the best time to visit Yuantouzhu.
During this time, at least 70 types of cherry flowers are in full bloom, covering an area of 0.65 sq km. Cherry Blossom Valley and Changchun Bridge are the best places for spectacular views. You can take a walk on the path under the trees, take a boat on Taihu Lake, or climb to the mountain top to have a bird’s-eye view of the pink and white flowers.