A drizzling rain falls like tears on Qing Ming;
The mourner's heart is breaking on his way.
Where can a tavern be found to drown his sadness?
A cowherd points to Xing Hua (Apricot Blossoms) Village.
Du Mu 杜牧 (803–852) of Tang
Today is Qingming festival 清明節. The Chinese Qingming Festival or Chingming festival usually falls 104 days after winter equinox. On this solemn festival day families visit ancestral graves, and tombs to sweep and clean them and generally remember them. The festival itself is said to have started during the Spring Autumn Period (771-476 BCE).
On the other hand it is also a day that all tea lovers all over the world look forward to. Pre-Qingming plucked teas are prized and exorbitant prices are demanded for such teas. Accordingly this festival is of great significance to all of us involved in tea.
Du Mu's poem alludes to rain on Qingming festival. It generally rains on this day. I don't know if it rained in various places where they observe this festival, but it certainly rained here.
On this solemn yet wonderful day, I shall be drinking some exquisite tea such as the one in the image above and reflecting on teas, particularly this year's teas and praying to the Gods and ancestors for a successful 2012.