Shanghais cemeteries fully booked up for Tomb Sweeping Day

All of Shanghais cemeteries have been fully booked up for this years Tomb Sweeping Day, meaning that everyone else will have to pay their respects online.

Tomb Sweeping Day or Qingming Festival is a time for people in China to honor their ancestors by tidying up their graves. This year, it falls on April 4.

Cemetery visitors capped

While the holiday typically draws big crowds to cemeteries across the country, authorities have capped visitor numbers and set up an online reservation system this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All 160,000 available slots on Tomb Sweeping Day have now been booked at Shanghais 54 cemeteries, the citys civil affairs bureau announced on Wednesday.

There are only few slots still open for Sunday and Monday.

Online tomb sweeping

Those without bookings will have to go online to pay respects to their ancestors.

On Tomb Sweeping Day, cemeteries will broadcast and conduct traditional ceremonies performed by cemetery staff.

In the past two weeks, the websites of Shanghais cemeteries have received nearly 1 million visits.

For a fee, theres also the option of personalized service where cemetery workers will livestream themselves sweeping a familys grave, bowing in front of it, and leaving flowers.

Cemeteries have been offering this convenient option for busy urbanites for years and some entrepreneurs have made some extra money by casting themselves as professional tomb sweepers.

However, with the Covid-19 outbreak, these luxury services are turning into necessities.


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