In case you somehow missed it, China’s annual Tomb Sweeping Day (Qingming Jie) was today. While the translation may sound slightly grim to some, it’s actually an important day of paying respect to ancestors and loved ones that have passed on, rather than cleaning graves with a solemn face.
Along with hiring professional mourners to be sad for you, burning offerings is a common way to pay respect, and this year it seems shops specializing in offerings for the dead have amped up their game to make a good profit, with some new bizarre and savvy gifts for those above.
For instance, a store in Linfen city, Shanxi province, managed to sell several “billions” worth of paper money, cardboard villas, paper BMWs, iPhones, LV bags, Mahjong tables, cardboard laptops, cigarettes, Maotai liquor, safes, clothing for all seasons and all manner of items ones may need in the afterlife, NetEase reports. With prices starting at a few mao to a few hundred RMB, there’s certainly something to please everyone, even if they’re already dead.
Wondering what exactly this thing is? It’s the roof of a villa, and the grey thing is a solar panel for the water heater. Yes, it is made of cardboard. Yes, you will toss this into a fire and it will burn to ashes and rise to Heaven for your ancestors. And yes, you definitely need one of these in Heaven. Cold showers are the worst.
Some city residents have expressed the view that Tomb Sweeping Day should be more solemn and shouldn’t be so vulgarized, advocating for a more environmentally-friendly approach to making offerings.
But check out this Mahjong table though.
Pretty classy right? If there’s one place where it’s fine to get shitfaced it should be in Heaven, right?
“3D Heaven Liquid Crystal TV!” This sounds slightly better in Chinese, we swear.
A few games to keep you entertained.
A deluxe pack including an air conditioner, rice cooker and a sick sound system so you can listen to some tunes.
And what kind of Chinese person would you be if you didn’t have an inordinate amount of clothing to protect you from the cold?
So, Tomb Sweeping Day is really moving on from the days when it was just about burning paper iPhones and other gadgets, we can’t wait to see what new household items get incinerated next year. Meanwhile, cemetery scavengers are just waiting in the wings, preparing to make a killing.
By Kitty Lai
[Images via GMW.cn // NetEase]