Free burial service of 'life crystal' to save land

The Huilongyuan Cemetery in Pudong New Area will provide free burial service of "life crystal" converted from cremation ashes to promote land-saving and eco-friendly burial. 

FAMILIES holding “life crystals,” which are made of ashes of the dead, can house them at the Huilongyuan Cemetery in the Pudong New Area for free, the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center said.

Since March 2016, residents are being encouraged to convert the ashes into “life crystal,” which is basically particulate matter that transforms ashes into “crystals” under high temperatures.

The cemetery, the first in Shanghai to provide “life crystal” placement service, will have a 55-square-meter area for 4,000 columbaria. In total, it can accommodate 8,000 “life crystals,” with each of them occupying 0.0075 square meters.

The service will be available in the second half of this year.

“‘Life crystal’ is eco-friendly and saves land compared to traditional burial,” said Zhou Jingbo, an official with the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

A traditional tomb size is normally about 1-1.5 square meters.

Due to the difference of trace elements, particulate matters of different bodies have different colors. The particulate matters can be turned into jewelry accessories like rings and bracelets, or whatever the relatives or family members of the dead want.

Ti Gong

The design of the "life crystal" placement system 

About 6,000 households in Shanghai have converted the ashes of the dead into “life crystals” so far, the center said.

More than 90 percent keep the “crystal” at home, while the others turn them into jewelry.

However, some families had expressed the desire to place the particulate matters at cemeteries, the center said.

“They are uncomfortable keeping the ‘life crystals’ at home,” said Ding Guojun, general manager of the Huilongyuan Cemetery.

The placement service has a 20-year period. An app designed by the cemetery will allow families to see the real-time scenes from the cemetery. Memorial ceremonies will be held for families who choose to bury the “life crystals” at the cemetery.

Elsewhere, about 1,000 members of the Shanghai Cancer Recovery Club bid farewell to 11 fellow members at a group burial ceremony at the Fushouyuan Cemetery in Qingpu District over the weekend.

They were buried in a 14-square-meter fan-shaped flowerbed that can accommodate the urns of 255 people.

“These club members and the family members of the departed deserve respect because of their optimism and choice of eco-friendly burial,” said Wang Liangyong, deputy director of the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Management Center.

About 1.04 million people visited cemeteries yesterday for the Qingming Festival, a surge of 41 percent from last year.

It brought 140,000 vehicles onto the roads, up 40.5 percent from last year.

Nearly 300 shuttle buses were operated from stations of eight Metro lines and 20 cemeteries in districts like Jiading, Songjiang and Qingpu, transporting 85,000 people. Qingming Festival is on April 5 this year.

Ti Gong

The design of the "life crystal" placement system 

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