TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: China's Tomb-Sweeping Day Joins Internet Age

China's Tomb-Sweeping Day Joins Internet Age

Lisa Minter (
05 Apr 2005 22:57:59 -0700

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese burned virtual candles and incense, sent
digital flowers and set fire to paper cell phones on Tuesday as modern
technology changes the way the ancient Qing Ming Tomb-Sweeping Day is

Tomb-Sweeping Day is a traditional holiday when people honor their
ancestors and flock to cemeteries, but many young Chinese consider
conventional ceremonies like setting off firecrackers, burning real
incense and paper and making offerings of food and drink as passe,
Xinhua news agency said.

"Internet mourning, such as on the 'online cemetery', where virtual
candles or joss-sticks are lit and virtual flowers are sent, is in
fashion, saving millions of people of Chinese origin the trouble of
traveling long distances in order to sweep tombs for their ancestors,"
it said.

New technology had also changed what people like to burn for ancestors
to enjoy in the afterlife as well as traditional items such as cars
and houses, Xinhua said.

Some mourners had added mobile phones "or other big ticket items that
might be of particular interest for the deceased."

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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