En route to Qingming Festival
Far from being a day for remembrance, respect and family reunions only, the popular holiday is also an opportunity to think of those who have made important contributions to our lives and beyond, to the history of China.
If you want to have an insight into the hustle and bustle of an ancient Chinese city during the Qingming Festival (清明節), you should consider the multimedia map “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” (清明上河圖) on display at the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院). scenes, capturing the daily life of people from the Song dynasty in the capital, Bianjing (汴京), today’s Kaifeng (開封) in Henan (河南) . The painting celebrates the festive spirit during the Qingming Festival, rather than the holiday’s ceremonial aspects, such as tomb sweeping and prayers, unveiling the lifestyle of all levels of society from rich to poor in rural areas and in the city. It also offers glimpses of period clothing and architecture.
The scroll, which is more than 5 meters long, has three major sections, namely the right- hand side, depicting the rural area of the city, the middle section, highlighting the various characters living in the city and the great bridge crossing the river, and the left half, featuring
Many versions of the famous painting have survived over the ages. The National Palace Museum in Taipei owns eight, of which the most famous of which is the “Qing Court Version” (清院本) . This particular handscroll was completed through the effort and cooperation of five Qing Dynasty court masters — Chen Mei (陳枚) , Sun Hu (孫祜) , Jin Kun (金昆) , Dai Hong (戴洪) and Cheng Zhidao (程志道).
This version has been the subject of a documentary film, printed in postcard and jigsawpuzzle form, published in a detailed study and as a children's book, produced as a multimedia disc, and even reproduced in full size in a beautiful multimedia installation.