You would think that such a solemn and traditional occasion as Tomb Sweeping Day must come into conflict with the modern world. However, each year, tomb sweeping only seems to become more and more connected with contemporary life as relatives burn paper representations of various state-of-the-art goods for their ancestors to enjoy in the afterlife.
Last year, some highlights included paper maotai, mahjong tables, solar panels, and laptops. For this year’s Qingming Festival (which is today!), paper iPhones remain a must (along with the charger, of course), as well as trendiest of paper clothing.
Counterfeit money and premium-branded cigarettes are also in high-demand. Behold, the $1 million bill:
And if you really want to spoil your forebearers, how about a stack of $10 million notes?
While those banknotes might not pass in the real world, these 100 RMB notes certainly could:
A deluxe cigarette pack including Marlboro for the ancestor that loved to smoke (perhaps a bit too much):
Of course, smokes go even better when paired with some maotai:
Looks like the makings of one hell of a party in the afterlife to us.
However, CGTN notes some of the mixed reactions from Chinese netizens regarding the less than traditional offerings that are on sale for ancestors this Qingming Festival:
“It is contemporary to be creative with ideas of offerings, but to recognize the importance of the event is also important,” one netizen, @daqianjiedao, commented.
Another, @xuzhouzhangdashuai, was more serious about such superficial choices that he believed just appealed to people’s vanity. ”No matter how luxurious the offerings are, it will never replace the importance of practicing filial piety when people are still alive.”
In yet another sign that this ancient holiday is catching up with the times, Nanjing’s Yuhuatai Cemetery is offering live-stream mourning services for relatives who are unable or simply too lazy to make it to the cemetery themselves today — if you’re in the latter category, your ancestors would deeply appreciate it if you would spent a few hours of your time to visit them!
While we can hope that next year’s Tomb Sweeping Day might be regarded with more respect and meaning, let’s just be thankful for the moment that cemeteries aren’t also offering stripper services as well this year.
By Allison Ma
[Images via Sina / NetEase / ECNS]
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