Cemeteries promote eco-friendly burials to alleviate pressure
Some cemeteries in Shanghai are providing free eco-friendly burials and hosting free group burials following traditional sacrifice rituals around the Dragon Boat Festival.
The plan is to promote staggered tomb sweeping and alleviate the pressure of intensive cemetery visits during Tomb Sweeping Festival and dongzhi, or winter solstice, the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center said on Thursday.
A group burial and sacrifice ceremony was hosted at the Zhuanqiao Qinyuan Cemetery in Minhang District on Thursday to promote eco-friendly burials and guide people to pay tribute to their ancestors on other non-busy occasions.
The host wore a traditional ancient Chinese outfit and participants bowed, burned incense and sacrificed realgar wine to the ancestors. Solemn music played as they followed old Chinese traditions.
The Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center has been promoting staggered tomb sweeping on six traditional Chinese festivals such as Shangyuan Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Zhongyuan Festival with a number of burial services and commemorative activities.
Tomb Sweeping Festival and dongzhi are the two peak times for Chinese people to pay their respects to the deceased by visiting tombs.
More than 2.35 million people visited 54 cemeteries in Shanghai on April 5 for the Tomb Sweeping Festival, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, bringing an extra 293,000 vehicles onto the city’s streets.
The combination of tomb sweepers and people undertaking spring outings caused serious congestion on expressways and major roads leading to cemeteries.