Sunday, December 21, 2008

From China: Fewer People Visit Ancestors' Graves This Year

Apparently it is a Chinese tradition to visit ones' ancestors' graves at the Winter Solstice festival. But the Shanghai Daily's English language online edition reports today (actually it's tomorrow there already) that the numbers of people gathering in cemeteries this year was down slightly from last year. The Daily said that officials attribute the drop (overall about 2% in the Shanghai area) to bad weather as well as suggestions not to visit during peak periods.

The Daily reported that one cemetery, the Binhaiguyuan Cemetery, received just 91,000 visitors yesterday (today here on the U.S. West Coast), which represented a drop of 20% from last year. The Daily said that some families arrived at cemeteries as early as 3:30 a.m. to avoid crowds and traffic.

Chinese visit their ancestors' graves traditionally at the winter solstice and at the Qingming Festival in early April.

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