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Ancient China
Qing Ming Festival



Qing Ming Festival
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    refusing, forged, affix, bestow, dynasty, terracotta, revolt, wage, after-life, lavish, tribute, writing, decree, palms, various, banned
     content words:    Qing Ming Festival, Grave Sweeping Day, Shih Huangdi, Great Wall, Liu Bang, Xiang Yu, Western Han, Ming Festival


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Qing Ming Festival
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Every year in early April (usually on the 5th, but sometimes on the 4th or 6th), the Chinese people will visit their ancestors' graves, tidy up the sites, and serve offerings. They call that designated day the Qing Ming Festival or Grave Sweeping Day.
 
2     Nobody knows for sure how the custom first started. Among the various accounts, one popular version goes like this.
 
3     A long time ago, there was a ruthless emperor who proclaimed himself as Shih Huangdi ("First Emperor" in Chinese) when he established the Qin dynasty (221 B.C. - 207 B.C.). Shih Huangdi ruled China with an iron fist. His fans say that he unified the writing system. He completed the construction of the Great Wall of China. And he fended off the advances of the Xiongnu, a northern nomadic tribe. His critics, however, say that he killed scholars, banned their thoughts, and burned their books. He forced people to build him extravagant palaces and a lavish tomb (complete with a terracotta army).

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