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Stall selling Qingming artificial flowers

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        Du Mu 803-852

In Qingming season it rains fine and fast,
almost breaking the wayfarer's heart.
Asked if there's a tavern close by,
The herdboy points to yonder village
         'midst apricot bloom.
Dù Mù 803-852

Qīngmíng shíjié yǔ fēnfēn,
Lùshang xíngrén yù duànhún.
Jièwèn jiǔjiā héchù yǒu,
Mutóng yáozhǐ xìnghuā cūn.

Translator: Charles Q. Wu 吳千之

Qingming is Tomb Sweeping Day in China, the time when people go to the tombs of their ancestors, sweep the tombs, place real and artificial flowers, tasty offerings of wine, rice and fruits, and sit and enjoy the spring scenery. Qingming is in early April.

Nowadays, the phase 杏 花 村, has come to mean 'rustic spring scenery'. perhaps this meaning was derived from this poem by Du Mu over 1,000 years ago.

See Ho Chi Minh's poem of the same title, for a less happy ending!

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