The Ministry of Civil Affairs has called for efforts to promote green and low-carbon tomb-sweeping activities ahead of the traditional Qingming Festival which falls on April 4 this year.
Agencies in charge of funeral services have been asked to provide high-quality online tribute-paying services by creating mourning websites and other commemorative platforms on the internet, the ministry said in a statement.
During last year's Tomb-sweeping Day holiday, more than 26.3 million people in China opted to mourn the deceased through online platforms, as the country limited onsite tomb-sweeping visits due to COVID-19. Instead, people set up commemorative spaces and wrote messages online to pay respects to their deceased relatives.
The Tomb-sweeping Day is a Chinese festival when people pay tribute to the dead and worship their ancestors by visiting tombs and making offerings. Traditionally, these tributes involve burning incense and paper money, which poses risk of fire and causes air pollution.
Graveyards should encourage the public to forsake the outdated practice of burning paper money during the mourning ritual and embrace a greener way of paying tribute, such as offering flowers, the ministry said.