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New trends sweep in for old tradition

New trends sweep in for old tradition

Updated: 2012-03-30 16:42


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Online streaming memorials, flowers and condolence cards are increasingly popular new ways of honoring the dead this Tomb Sweeping Day, Guilin Evening News reports.

The new trendy services, offered by cemeteries in Guilin, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region this year, are said to be more environmental friendly than some traditional ways of the Qingming Festival.

Flowers increasingly popular

Citizens in Guilin increasingly prefer to lay flowers instead of burning incense or counterfeit money during memorials. Flowers have become growing scenery in many graveyards as more green alternatives are promoted and free flowers offered to mourners.

"Many mourners begin to lay wreathes now although most still keep the custom, burning counterfeit money or lighting fireworks. We ban fireworks and restrict burning in our eco-grave yard zone," said Zhong, a staff member at Yao Di Cemetery. "It is a great change that about 20 percent to 30 percent of mourners now use flowers instead of incense or fireworks, which could never be seen two years ago."

Say it with words

Condolence cards are handed out for free to mourners at Guilin Feng Huang Shan Cemetery and several others. The card is 21 centimeters long and 13 centimeters wide with different colors and graphic patterns, where mourners write words to their lost loved-ones. "It can equally pay condolences to the dead in a low carbon manner," the manager of the cemetery expressed.

Online memorials

This year Guangxi will hold Internet memorial in China. Mourners can log on to the website and lay incense, wine, and tea, or play songs and chant sutras virtually with a mouse. Users can also leave their condolences and check memorial records online. "I was too shy to express my feeling when I mourned my elders in the cemetery because of many other mourners," Ms Li said. "I can fully express myself to them online by writing it down, which gives me great comfort." Some others also say Internet memorial is more convenient.

Custom expert Yao Gu said, "The memorial tradition at Qingming Festival is condolence and love for the lost, which can not be measured by patterns. Mourners are not necessarily constraint by patterns as long as they miss their losses."