More tomb sweepers attend this Qingming

More than 2.35 million people visited 54 cemeteries in Shanghai yesterday for the Qingming Festival to pay tribute to their ancestors.
Liu Xin

Passengers exit a very congested Shanghai Circuit Station on Metro Line 11 to get to the nearby Songhe Cemetery for tomb sweeping yesterday.

MORE than 2.35 million people visited 54 cemeteries in Shanghai yesterday for the Qingming Festival to pay tribute to their ancestors, a rise of 4.8 percent from the same period of last year, Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

The tomb sweepers brought an extra 293,000 vehicles onto the city’s streets, up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

Binhai Guyuan Cemetery in Fengxian District, Xianhe Cemetery in Minhang District and Fushouyuan Cemetery in Qingpu District had the largest number of tomb sweepers, the bureau said.

In total, 7,442 urns were buried yesterday, a rise of 13 percent.

The combination of tomb sweepers and people undertaking a spring outing caused congestion on expressways and major roads leading to cemeteries.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Citizens enjoy the holiday in People’s Park in the city center yesterday. 

Waiqingsong Highway leading to Fushouyuan Cemetery in Qingpu District was congested from 5am onward and jammed up around 7am, when it took about 40 minutes to drive 1 kilometer.

By 6:30am, the cemetery had received 4,710 people and 925 vehicles, and the earliest tomb sweeper arrived just after 1am, the cemetery operator said.

Songhe Cemetery in Jiading District had nearly 9,000 people and more than 1,400 vehicles as of 6:30am. Its parking lot was fully occupied, and vehicles were forced to park at the nearby Shanghai Circuit parking lot. Shuttle buses were used to get to the cemetery.

A total of 560 shuttle buses operated between 20 cemeteries in five districts and stations on eight Metro lines yesterday, ferrying about 200,000 people and effectively alleviating traffic pressure, the bureau said.

About 6,500 police officers were on the streets to monitor traffic and maintain order around cemeteries, and two helicopters were used.

An estimated 5.09 million people have visited tombs across the city since March 31, up 35.9 percent from the same period of last year. An extra 652,000 vehicles were recorded, up 36.6 percent.


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