Stop condom pyres, mourners told

In order to ensure that spirits have lots of good things in the afterlife, Chinese mourners burn paper presents for the deceased, such as luxury villas, phones, houses and even paper money. But the fear of having evil spirits seize the offered money and goods cause the families to burn also Hell notes, money-like paper with imprints under the authorization of the “Bank of Hell”.


Over the past two years, officials have discovered people burning paper offerings of Viagra, their mistresses and even Supergirls — dolls modelled on winning contestants of the Pop Idol spin-off on Chinese TV.

The Chinese Government finds it way too vulgar and has issued new regulations on funerals this week. At the top of the list is a ban on the burning of paper models of such items as condoms and karaoke hostesses. Under the new funeral and interment regulations, citizens whose offerings are deemed to be vulgar could face fines.

In the run-up to the Tomb Sweeping Festival — when paper models are burned at ancestors’ gravesides — state media hailed a new trend in e-Tomb-Sweeping to beat the crowds at cemeteries and crematoriums. One click and relatives can light candles, burn incense and offer flowers and songs. However, most people still visit family graves.

Image: Souvenirs from Hell. Paper Offerings in Hong Kong, 2000. Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Leong Ka Tai and Kotano Ina.
Via The Times.