Tomb-Sweeping Day goes green

16:42, April 01, 2010      

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One of the traditional ways to celebrate Tomb-sweeping Day – burning paper or incense – isn't exactly good for air quality. That is why this year more and more residents are choosing environmentally-friendly ways to spend the holiday such as flower sacrifices and memorial ceremonies on the Internet or at home.

Currently, the sales volume of white, yellow, and other plain flowers that are used for Tomb-Sweeping Day has been increasing and flowers such as chrysanthemums and carnations are on display in booths at the Taotao Flower Market. A vendor told reporters that chrysanthemums, lilies, carnations and forget-me-nots are the most common flowers used for Tomb-Sweeping Day because the white, yellow, purple and plain flowers are appropriate for visiting tombs.

Reporters learned from Beijing's flower markets on March 31 that the current price of chrysanthemums and carnations are about 1 yuan each, forget-me-nots are 3 yuan each and lilies are about 6 yuan each. The prices for flower bouquets are between 30 and 80 yuan.

Ms. Zhang, a flower vendor, told reporters that people normally think that chrysanthemums are the most suitable flowers for Tomb-Sweeping Day, therefore they will sell very well with the holiday approaching. She said that last year's Tomb-Sweeping Day, the price of a single chrysanthemum was 2 yuan, twice of the regular price.

"This year's Tomb-Sweeping Day is a statutory holiday so there certainly will be many people visiting tombs. I plan to prepare the chrysanthemums a little more. I think they will sell very well," said Zhang. She added that the prices for other flowers may not fluctuate so obviously.

In addition to flowers, there are some other popular ways to be environmentally friendly. Mr. Han told reporters that he and his family hold a memorial ceremony for their lost relatives every Tomb-Sweeping Day. In the past, they would burn paper money in front of the tombs, but this year, they plan to put only some fruits and pastries.

"When the ceremony is over, we can take the food back home, which is quite environmental and economical," he added.

Many residents also choose to mourn their lost relatives on the Internet. Ms. Xie told reporters that she will hold a memorial ceremony on a Web site by burning virtual "joss sticks and candles" and serving a cup of virtual "tea."

"Although all these things are just virtual data, my emotions are real. I do miss them," she said.

In addition to online memorials, she and her family will also hold a ceremony at home.

"We sit together and talk about the past life of our relatives. It is also meaningful for children to learn about these things," she said.

By People's Daily Online


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