Chinese ritual - Homage online

Chinese government departments have devised a rather strange solution to the problem of congestion and traffic jams. They have requested mourners to pay homage to dead friends and relatives on the Internet, to lessen crowds at cemeteries

 
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Chinese Ritual

Chinese government departments have devised a rather strange solution to the problem of congestion and traffic jams. They have requested mourners to pay homage to dead friends and relatives on the Internet, to lessen crowds at cemeteries.

Each April, the Chinese observe the Qingming Festival, a traditional grave-sweeping ritual in the cemeteries where their relatives are buried. They have continued the tradition of elaborate burial and homage ceremonies for thousands of years, transferring food, money and goods to the deceased.

The traditional customs were criticised by the Communist party after Mao Zedong took control of China in 1949. The communist doctrine terms the homage practices superstitious. The ritual has also been blamed for causing forest fires, as the mourners burn paper money to honour the dead. Several graveyards have therefore opened web sites where mourners can pay their respects in cyberspace.

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