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Traffic to pick up for winter tomb sweeping

By Shen Shushu (Global Times)

10:30, December 11, 2012

An estimated 200,000 vehicles are expected to take to the roads for this year's winter tomb sweeping festival, local authorities said Monday.

Although the holiday traditionally takes place during the Winter Solstice, which falls on December 21, residents are expected to begin heading to their ancestors' grave sites this weekend, according to the Shanghai's Funeral Management Office.

Chinese traditionally pay their respects to their ancestors by visiting their grave sites and burning fake money and incense.

The Funeral Management Office advised residents planning to partake in the ritual to avoid traveling during the morning and afternoon rush hours on December 21, when about 1.08 million people in 100,000 vehicles are expected to visit their ancestors.

The office estimated that 2.23 million people will take part in this year's ritual.

"The number of people visiting the cemeteries on Winter Solstice is one-fourth the number who participated in the Tomb Sweeping Festival, so we are confident we can manage it," said Wang Hongjie, president of the Shanghai Funeral Industry Association.

To ease the traffic to 14 nearby cemeteries, the city's subway operator will provide free shuttle buses at 10 subway stations in Qingpu, Jiading, and Songjiang districts during the period.

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