China bans tomb-sweepers' "vulgar" burned offerings
Updated: 2006-04-25 21:25
China has banned its citizens from burning paper models of condoms, luxury
villas and karaoke hostesses when paying respect at the graves of their
Many Chinese burn paper money as a sacrificial rite to honor deceased
relatives, but economic development has brought more unusual tokens of gifts for
Now, anxious to curtail a modern version of what they see as feudal
superstition, the authorities have issued new funeral and internment regulations
that include fining citizens who burn "vulgar" offerings, a Chinese newspaper
"The burning of luxury villas, sedan cars, mistresses and other messy
sacrificial items ... will be investigated and punished," the Beijing News
quoted Dou Yupei, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as saying.
Over the last two years officials have discovered people burning paper
offerings of the potency drug Viagra, extra-marital mistresses and even
"Supergirls" -- dolls modeled on winning contestants of Chinese television's
hugely popular American Idol spin-off, Mongolian Cow Sour Milk Supergirl.
"The tomb-sweepers' feelings are understandable," said Dou. "But burning
these messy things -- not only is it mired in feudal superstition, but it just
appears low and vulgar."
The new regulations follow reports earlier this month of authorities calling
for people to honor relatives online through special Web sites' virtual memorial