120 million Chinese mourn for deceased on Tomb-Sweeping Day
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-06 09:56:21   Print

    BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- An estimated 120 million people mourned for the deceased at graveyards or memorial parks on Saturday, China's traditional Qingming or Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

    The number was based on figures from the ministry's 150 key memorial sites and cemeteries, which in total received 6.8 million people, up 21.4 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said in a statement on its website Saturday evening.

    The ministry urged people to pay attention to their safety when going outside. It also asked the public to use more civilized mourning methods, such as presenting fresh flowers or planting trees instead of burning paper money, which is a tradition.

 A person presents flowers at a cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, April 4, 2009, the day of Chinese Qingming Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day. Nowadays, more Chinese people prefer to using flowers to express their condolences to the deceased, instead of burning offerings in tradition, as a more civilized and environment-friendly way.

A person presents flowers at a cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, April 4, 2009, the day of Chinese Qingming Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenkui)
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    As early as mid-March, eight Chinese ministries, including those of civil affairs, public security, transport and forestry, urged redoubled efforts to prevent accidents such as fires and stampedes.

    In 2008, the government made Tomb-Sweeping Day an official holiday in response to public appeal. The Civil Affairs Ministry estimated more than 100 million people turned out for memorial activities last year.

    This year's Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday lasts from Saturday to Monday. The ministry expects more crowds on Sunday and Monday.

    The Ministry of Railways (MOR) had reported a drastic surge in passenger flow prior to the festival.

    More than 5.23 million people traveled by train on April 3, up 10.8 percent from the same day last year, according to the MOR. Most passengers traveled for tomb-sweeping, and some for sight-seeing and visiting relatives and friends.

People present flowers to express condolences at a cemetery in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province, April 4, 2009, the day of Chinese Qingming Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day.

People present flowers to express condolences at a cemetery in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province, April 4, 2009, the day of Chinese Qingming Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day. (Xinhua Photo)
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People are seen at a cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, April 4, 2009, the day of Chinese Qingming Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenkui)
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Editor: Yan
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