The story appears on

Page A5

December 8, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Cemeteries feeling Solstice squeeze

SHANGHAI cemeteries are taking measures to persuade people to avoid using the Winter Solstice Day to bury their deceased family members' ashes.

This year the day falls on December 22.

The solstice is regarded as the best day for relatives to bury their loved one's ashes. With 2.06 million people expected to flock to suburbs or nearby provinces to visit their families' tombs that day, some cemeteries are creating incentives to diminish the crowding.

Songhe Cemetery in Songjiang District is offering discounts to families willing to choose other festival days to set up tombs.

Conversely, families who bury the ashes on Winter Solstice will be charged 200 yuan more (US$17).

In all, 17 days are on the discount list, including Mother's Day, Father's Day and Children's Day. Families who choose to bury ashes on those days will get 400 yuan off, officials said.

"This year about 1,700 tombs will be set up on the Winter Solstice Day, about 200 to 300 fewer than last year's," said Lu Quanhua, general manager of the cemetery.

"This proves that the discounting measure is effective."

This was the first time the cemetery is offering such discounts. Officials hope that in the future, the number of tomb settings could be within 800 on the Winter Solstice Day.

Binhaiguyuan Cemetery in Fengxian District is also offering perks for avoiding the solstice.

Starting last month, the cemetery has hired a traditional Chinese music band to accompany ash burying ceremonies on days other than Winter Solstice.

"This year around 900 tombs will be set up on the Winter Solstice Day, about 30 percent less than last year," said Zhao Xiaohu, general manager of the cemetery.

"We also hope that the band can help people change some dangerous tradition, such as lighting up fire crackers in the cemetery when burying ashes," Zhao said.

As the Winter Solstice Day will fall on Wednesday this year, the weekend before that will also be a peak for tomb visiting.

Some 193,000 vehicles are expected to take the throngs to cemeteries around Shanghai around the time of Winter Solstice.

To relieve the traffic burden, some cemeteries are offering discounts on shuttle buses on non-peak days.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend