Monday, April 4, 2016

"Sea burials" gaining popularity in Beijing

The ashes of more than 13,700 deceased residents of Beijing have been scattered at sea since the service began to be offered in May 1994, the overseas edition of the People's Daily reported on Monday, China's Tomb-Sweeping Day.

"Sea burials" have been gaining popularity amid official encouragement of space-saving and eco-friendly alternatives to conventional internment of bodies.

Beijing's funeral service center scattered the ashes of more than 2,000 deceased people into the sea in 2015, double the number in 2012, according to the People's Daily.

Wang Dedong, director of the center, said Beijingers initially found the service hard to accept because it meant the disappearance of the ashes.

Though many people choose the service for financial reasons, more and more Beijingers are doing it because they value environmental protection, according to Wang.

The service has been available for free since 2009.

The center organizes two sea burials almost every week from March to November.

Tomb-Sweeping Day, or Qingming Festival, is a holiday for mourning ancestors.
 Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
4/4/16
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