chinese funeral customs

They stay in their rooms and powder is sprinkled around the door to confirm their presence. If buried, this will take place on a hillside. The lantern symbolizes the soul of the deceased and should be lit day and night. These envelops signify the end of the mourning period and a new beginning. The family of the deceased should set up a memorial shed beforehand. Traditionally, the period called “wake” precedes the actual funeral. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Guests at a Chinese funeral wear somber colors like black. China is, without doubt, one of the oldest surviving civilizations of the world. More than half of Green Street Mortuary’s families pay cash for the funeral arrangements. Since ancient times, the Chinese have believed in a spiritual afterlife to which the soul journeys after death. She studied Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Taipei and has written for Newsweek International, Elle Girl, and the Chicago Tribune. We specialize in honoring family customs while adding personal details where appropriate. Red is considered the color of happiness, so the family does not wear any red clothing or accessories. First 7 days are believed to be the most important. It's totally free to use. At the end of the wake, the casket is covered with a yellow and white holy paper. Some funerals can last up to 45 days. Cremated remains are given to the family and placed in a shrine or urn garden. This way they have everything they need when they enter the spirit world. Family members will do a list of things for the deceased, such as shaving, cleansing the body and putting on the burial clothes. Burial is often an important element of the funerary process, and cremation is rare. However, in general, the funeral ceremony itself is carried out over seven days, and mourners wear funerary dress according to their relationship to the deceased. People do not wear the color red because it symbolizes happiness in Chinese culture. If the deceased is a woman, the band is worn on the right sleeve, and vice versa. If done so, these items are believed to invite bad luck. During the funeral, offerings of food items, incense, and joss paper are commonly presented. It is typically adorned with a large portrait of the deceased hanging on the windshield. [citation needed]. If buried, this will take place on a hillside. The grieving family may burn incense or paper money at the gravesite as a symbol of helping their loved one along on their journey to the afterlife. White is the color reserved for death in Chinese culture. ► The coffin, in which the corpse is laid, is kept in a hearse decorated with funerary wreaths and flowers. It is performed throughout the funeral process by the relatives. A phone call or in-person invitation may precede the paper invitation. The Chinese funeral flower is the iris and it’s common for relatives to bring wreaths made of white irises and it’s customary for the deceased's employer to bring a wreath wrapped in Irises and money. Depending on their personal preference, Chinese are either buried or cremated. Throughout history, Chinese people have carried out complex funeral rites, with tombs of early rulers rivalling Ancient Egyptian tombs in their funerary art and provision for the dead in the afterlife.

What happens on the day of the funeral and how it is carried out makes a major impact on the deceased's family. Daughters-in-law come next and also wear black and white clothes. Friends and associates complete the procession. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. They also depend on the age, marital status, and the manner in which the person died. So, the distribution of red envelopes after funeral symbolizes the end of the period of mourning, and the beginning of a new start. This thread is believed to ward away evil spirits, and so, it should be taken home by the guests and tied to their doorknobs. The amount of money put in the envelope varies depending on the relationship to the deceased but must be in odd numbers. Regardless of financial means, the rituals and rules are encouraged. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A Chinese wake can last between five to seven days and depends on the age and social influence of the deceased. Traditional burial customs show a strong belief in life after death and the need for ancestor veneration among the living; Confucian philosophy calls for paying respect to one's ancestors as an act of filial piety (孝 xiào). The practice of any other faith is strictly prohibited in China. Sometimes, the guests may also be presented with a handkerchief. These cookies do not store any personal information. Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.― Lao Tzu. Whether you need help selecting appropriate flowers, setting up an extended visitation or creating a solemn and beautiful event, turn to us for compassionate care. Discover what you'll need to consider when planning, or attending, ... E-Mail This Article Print Friendly Format. In some cases, this kind of service is conducted in silence. If an infant or child dies, no funeral rites are performed either since respect cannot be shown to a younger person. The website is no longer available for use. Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime. ► White Iris is the traditional funeral flower in China, so make sure that you take an elaborate wreath made of these flowers, if you are visiting during the “wake”.

The family is expected to hold a 24-hour vigil next to the casket. A lot of rules and rituals are followed in the Chinese culture — and if traditional funeral etiquette isn’t followed, it’s said to bring bad luck to the family. With the change of times and the popularity of cremation, funeral procedures have been simplified, and there are various funeral customs of different ethnic groups. Traditional Chinese funeral is an elaborate ceremony that involves a number of rites and rituals. The Significance of Red Envelopes in Chinese Culture, Victorian Death Photos and Other Strange Victorian Mourning Traditions, Biography of Louis Armstrong, Master Trumpeter and Entertainer, How to Plan a Traditional Chinese Wedding, The Modern Chinese Wedding Ceremony and Banquet, Tips for Celebrating a Chinese-Style Birthday, B.A., Humanities, Florida Atlantic University. Ceremonies, rituals, and mourning last up to 100 days. ► As a marker of a fresh beginning, the guests are also made to consume a piece of sweet candy before leaving for their respective homes. The Chinese believe that if a person dies at 80 or above, he/she lived life to the fullest, and had no desires left to be fulfilled. According to the closeness and status of the family members, they will pay respects diàn (奠) to the deceased. It’s important to choose a funeral home provider that is familiar with Asian funeral traditions and able to assist you in planning a fitting tribute for your loved one. However, the etiquette that needs to be followed during these ceremonies is worth noting. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Stay safe while still coming together to support one another and honor your loved one. Paid professionals are often hired to wail and cry throughout the funeral. After the burial people must wash their hands, and some even do it with alcohol. customarily involves somber clothing and doesn’t feature designs or patterns. The deceased is either buried or cremated, depending on the deceased’s belief system. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. If you are seeking to plan a funeral that will honor your family traditions and the wishes of your loved one, Dignity Memorial professionals can help. Some families give a small piece of candy in a white envelope to each person at the funeral. Regardless of religious beliefs, Chinese culture follows basic rules and traditions. Living until 80 or beyond is considered a feat worth celebrating and mourners should celebrate the person’s longevity rather than mourn. Then the family of the deceased thanks the funeral band and the guest and arranges a meal for all. The late 3rd century BCE Terracotta Army contains approximately 9,000 terracotta figures that were buried to protect Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. But don't worry! Chinese superstition says this will invite bad luck to these individuals. With the change of times and the popularity of cremation, funeral procedures have been simplified, and there are various funeral customs of different ethnic groups. If the person died outside of the home, the casket will be displayed in a courtyard. We've created informative articles that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! Much like the wake, family members will bing fruit, incense, and money to the funeral service. The invitation includes information about the funeral’s date, time, and location, as well as a small obituary that includes information about the deceased that may include his or her birth date, date of death, age, family members that survived them and sometimes how the person died. Crying and wailing is a sign of loyalty and respect to the deceased. Prayer plays a large role in the wake. The Chinese treat life and death with reverence, care, and respect. The higher the hillside, the better it is for the deceased, according to Chinese superstition. The mourning son or the heir who reports the death has to wear mourning clothes and a mourning hat (usually in white linen), and when he arrives at people’s house, he is not allowed to enter, and when someone comes to greet him, he has to bow to the person, no matter how old or young the person is. This ritual is largely influenced by Buddhism. Find a Dignity Memorial location near you to start planning your own unique memorial. There are Buddhist ceremonies that last at least for 49 days. An altar is built around the casket and incense and candles are burned. Traditional Chinese culture believes that evil spirits can be kept away by means of loud music. ► You can either write your name on the white envelope while you give the money or you can leave it blank; it is acceptable both ways. In Japanese funerals, cremation is generally chosen, and the memorial service follows Buddhist or Shinto customs depending on the family’s religious preferences. The larger the deceased’s inheritance, the louder the wailing. Glance through this SocialMettle post to learn about the traditional funeral etiquette that is widely followed in China.

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