Residents in Shanghai pay tribute to martyrs marking Qingming Festival
Published: Apr 05, 2023 07:02 PM Updated: Apr 05, 2023 06:58 PM
People pay tribute to martyrs at Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Shanghai on May 4, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Longhua

People pay tribute to martyrs at Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Shanghai on May 4, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Longhua

With flowers in hand, people of different ages stand in front of the tombs of Chinese revolutionary martyrs, gently bowing low in honor of the forerunners who dedicated their lives to the country. 

Wednesday marked Qingming Festival, or the tomb-sweeping day, a traditional occasion for Chinese to honor their family ancestors as well as the country's martyrs.

In Shanghai, hundreds of local residents, including the families of martyrs, students and representatives from various industries, such healthcare, transportation and construction, gathered at the Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery to express their condolences and pay respects to the martyrs.

One of the martyrs, Yun Daiying, was a proletarian revolutionist and an early member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) who actively promoted Marxism in the 1920s and 30s. As the founder and editor-in-chief of progressive magazine China Youth, Yun guided many young Chinese at that time to equip themselves with advanced knowledge, and inspired them to grow into proponents of social progress.

Yun was killed by then Kuomintang reactionary forces in 1931 at the age of 36. At Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery on Wednesday, visitors stood solemnly in front of Yun's cenotaph to pay tribute to the pioneer of revolution. 

"He left when my father was only two years old," Yun's granddaughter Yun Mei recalled at Longhua.

"I learned my grandfather's story from my grandmother and some books. The more I learn about him, the more I became proud of him," Yun Mei told the Global Times on Wednesday. "He laid down his life for his ideals of promoting Marxism and serving the country and its people. He also sowed the seeds of revolution among many young people."

A martyr descendant, Yun Mei said she hoped today's young Chinese can remember their history and learn from the spirit of these revolutionary forerunners, dedicating their youth and talent to the great course of achieving China's prosperity and national rejuvenation.

"Young people are the future of our country," she said, now in her 60's.

Including Longhua, a total of 76 memorial sites for martyrs across Shanghai jointly held commemorative events both online and offline to mark the occasion.

"The spirit of martyrs is like a beacon that guides us on the journey of striving [for our ideals]," Zhu Xiaoli, deputy head of Longhua, told the Global Times. 

Working at martyrs' cemetery, Zhu said she and her coworkers are working hard to promote the spirit of the revolutionary martyrs. "[We hope] more people can find the strength to move forward in the stories of the martyrs," she said.