Agoda.com, Asia’s global hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline.com, today announced last-minute hotel specials for Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, and Beijing, just in time for Qingming Festival.
A Chinese tradition stretching back more than 2,000 years, Qingming is held to venerate departed ancestors. A national holiday in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, and Mainland China, Qingming (pronounced ching ming) is when families visit their ancestors’ graves to pay respect, tidy gravesites, and make offerings of flowers, food, and spirit money. For this reason it is also known as “Tomb-Sweeping Day.”
This year, Qingming falls on April 5. The festival occurs 15 days after the spring equinox and coincides with the coming of warmer weather. The name “qing ming” – clear and bright – refers to sunny spring days, with the festival’s customs closely tied to the warmer weather. After visiting ancestors’ tombs, people often go on countryside walks, plant trees, or fly kites. One older Chinese tradition is to serve only cold, uncooked dishes on Qingming day, earning it the additional name “Cold Food Day.”
Visitors to Beijing during Qingming can visit Yuan Ming Yuan Gardens – the “Gardens of Perfection and Light.” Here, amid eighteenth-century relics of the summer palace, craftsmen set up stalls, and kite-flyers show off their skills.
In Macau, an animated version of the twelfth-century scroll painting, along the River during the Qingming Festival, is on display until April 14 at the Macau Dome. The scroll depicts life in China during the twelfth century and is one of China’s most important artworks. The multimedia installation was a main draw of the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Whether traveling to meet up with family or visiting the region on vacation, Agoda.com offers travelers great savings on hotels for Qingming Festival. All bookings earn Rewards points that are worth 4-7% the price of the booking and can be used to reduce the cost of future hotel stays.