Shuttle buses announced for Winter Solstice

Hu Min
Shanghai will press 109 shuttle buses into service during the Winter Solstice, which falls on December 22 this year.
Hu Min
Shuttle buses announced for Winter Solstice
Ti Gong

Bidding farewell.

To alleviate the expected road congestion during the annual tomb-sweeping period, shuttle buses will be put into service, and group burials will be held in the city.

In China, the Winter Solstice, like the Qingming Festival, is a time when people pay homage to their ancestors. This year, it falls on December 22.

According to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, there will be traffic congestion in regions leading to cemeteries on five peak days this year – December 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24.

From downtown and Metro stations, 109 shuttle buses will operate on eight approved routes leading to six tombs in suburban Jiading and Qingpu districts.

During peak hours, bus intervals will be reduced further, and operating hours will be extended to relieve traffic congestion.

Shuttle buses announced for Winter Solstice
Ti Gong

People leave messages to the departed

On Thursday, a mass burial took place in Shanghai Fushouyuan Cemetery in Qingpu District.

Several residents rested amid trees and flowers with biodegradable urns as the city encouraged eco-friendly burials and staggered cemetery visits.

Families said goodbye and dropped flower petals and earth on urns during the simple, heartfelt service.

"Their ashes will become part of the land, returning to nature with biodegradable urns," said cemetery general manager assistant Sun Yi.

Sun said that the deceased's dignity is preserved in their final chapter, even though their ashes are not.

"They'll remember their decision because it shows their knowledge of life's meaning and value," he said.

The cemetery offers trees, lawns, flowerbeds, and "life crystals" built of the dead's ashes to save land and raise environmental consciousness.

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