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Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Chinese Funeral Tradition

Today is November 1, being Chinese, I thought of sharing what I believe and what
my grand mother, and aunties taught me about the other side of Chinese tradition.

Chinese funeral has several main traditions.   Buddhist ceremonies that last at least for 49 days. 
the most important is that the first 7 days are believed to be made up of prayers 7 days a wk
49 days. for well to do families. If a family of the deceased is poor this period can be short, 
lasting only 3 days.

Traditionally the daughters of the deceased pay the funeral costs. The head of the family 
should at least be present at first prayer ceremony, if possible at second prayer ceremony 
and certainly at the burial or cremation. Chinese also have a special Buddhist prayer 
ceremony held every 10 days for 3 succeeding periods until the burial. then the optional 
final ceremony 100 days after death. 

The age, cause of death, marital and social status of the deceased are all factors that 
influence Chinese death rites. The whole procedure of the funeral and everything around 
should be done in a proper way. based on the rules of traditional Chinese funeral rites now 
it is believed that any irregularities can cause bad luck and accidents in the family of the 
deceased. and I admit, its pretty hard to follow the traditional Chinese customs and traditions
though it may sound amazing for other cultures, but most of the time, its becoming costly 

Here is a superstition that has been passed on : When someone in the family dies 
all statues of Chinese deities in the home are covered with red paper. mirrors are removed. 
and a piece of white cloth is put over a doorway.
another superstition: Only one color is forbidden. RED. because Chinese believe that if the 
deceased would be dressed in red he will  become a ghost. All the  clothes  he used to 
wear  when he was alive are burned.

The wake is what follows. If the deceased died at home the coffin will also be there. if 
not the coffin will be placed in the courtyard. The coffin is put on two stools with a head 
of the deceased positioned towards the house. After the wake family members gather 
around the coffin. Here persons are positioned according to rules. 

here are some rules that may not be practiced anymore in these modern times but 
I'm going to share it anyways

The color of clothes worn is also very important. Children and daughters-in-law 
wear black. Black symbolized the strongest sadness. Grandchildren wear blue 
clothes and grand grandchildren, if there are any, wear light blue clothes. 
Sons-in-law wear white or of similar color. The children and daughters-in-law 
of the deceased will also wear a sackcloth hood on their head.

We believe that the deceased should have kind of income during his afterlife. That 
is why during the wake people burn joss paper and prayer money. and now, I do 
not understand why some Buddhist temples  like Thousand Buddha refused to let 
people burn these and offer their prayer services with pay instead?

Everyone present at the wake burns an incense and bows as a sign of respect 
for the deceased. There is also a donation box where people put some money 
as a sign of respect and help for the family.  and this donation box can gather up 
a huge sum! as most visiting Chinese families look at the bulletin board
for referrence on how big their donation will be, donations starts at 10k and can 
go as high as 50k.

The costs of funerals are quite high. in China during the cultural revolution
cremation is highly encouraged 
 oh, its Nov 1 today, its not too late to feature a spooky video of the day
heres one I got...

this is your LOVERBOY Dennis signing out. Happy Halloween and happy All Souls Day!

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