Cemeteries requiring reservations for peak tomb-sweeping period

Hu Min
Tomb sweepers are required to make reservations if they plan on visiting city cemeteries during the five peak days of Qingming Festival – March 27-28 and April 3-5.
Hu Min

Tomb sweepers are required to make advance reservations if they plan on visiting city cemeteries during the five peak days of this year's Qingming Festival, city authorities announced today. 

The five peak days are March 27-28 and April 3-5.

This year's Qingming Festival, a time for Chinese people to pay respects to their ancestors, is on April 4.

Reservations can be made beginning on March 19 via WeChat or by phone.

The city's 54 cemeteries and columbariums are projected to receive almost 4.5 million visits during the 10-day period, bringing an extra 690,000 vehicles onto city streets, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

More than 11,200 urns are expected to be interred during the festival.

"A significant increase of tomb sweepers is forecast compared with last year's Qingming Festival, when on-the-spot tomb sweeping and interment of urns were discouraged due to COVID-19," said Zeng Qun, deputy director of the bureau. 

During the five peak days, 3.66 million visits are expected, bringing an extra 560,000 vehicles onto city streets.

The busiest day will be April 4, when more than 1.3 million people are predicted to visit cemeteries and put an extra 200,000 vehicles on city streets. More than 5,000 urns are projected to be interred that day.

The Pudong New Area, Jiading and Qingpu districts are predicted to be the most crowded, as each is projected to receive more than 550,000 tomb-sweeping visits during that period.

Expressways and roads leading to cemeteries will be more congested than usual.

Traffic congestion is expected on certain parts of the S2, S4, S5, G50 and G1503 expressways, as well as Huaxia Elevated Road, Zhufeng Highway, Hunan Highway, Jiasong Road N. and Tanglu Road. 

The Binhaiguyuan Cemetery in Fengxian District, Songhe Cemetery in Jiading District and Xianhe Cemetery in Minhang District are forecast to receive the largest numbers of tomb sweepers.

Online tomb-sweeping is available for those who can't travel, and cemetery staff will sweep tombs for families upon request, said Zeng. Cemeteries will host group burials and other commemorative and eco-friendly burial events on non-peak days. 

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