Wang Wei: Approaching Cold Food Days at the Eastern City Wall

Approaching Cold Food Days at the Eastern City Wall

寒 食 城 东 即 事
清 溪 一 道 穿 桃 李
演 漾 绿 蒲 涵 白 芷。
谿 上 人 家 凡 几 家
落 花 半 落 东 流 水。
蹴 鞠 屡 过 飞 鸟 上
秋 千 竟 出 垂 杨 里。
少 年 分 日 作 遨 游
不 用 清 明 兼 上 巳。

 

Han Shi Cheng Dong Ji Shi

Qing xi yi dao chuan tao li
Yan yang lu pu han bai zhi.
Xi shang ren jia fan ji jia
Luo hua ban luo dong liu shui.

Cu ju lu guo fei niao shang
Qiu qian jing chu chui yang li.
Shao nian fen ri zuo ao you
Bu yong qing ming jian shang si.

 

Approaching Cold Food Days at the Eastern City Wall

Clear, small stream makes one path, penetrating peach and pear trees
Undulating ripples on green cattails that contain white edible stems.
A few people in humble houses living along the water
Of the fallen flowers, half flow downstream, the other half remains on shore.

Children’s homemade ball repeatedly flies higher than the birds
They vie for swings, hanging from drooping popular trees.
Young people spend this day in carefree play
And do not need to observe the Qing Ming rites.

 

Notes:

Cold Food Days:

Three consecutive days, starting on the day before the Qing Ming observances, usually on or about April 5th.  During this time period the devout do not cook hot meals.  Perhaps this began in the old days when the people changed the types of firewood used to cook their food.

Qing Ming:

The time when the living visit and tidy up the ancestral tombs.

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