This year's Tomb-Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival which is a traditional Chinese holiday where people pay tribute to deceased family and friends is quite different from others. As people are advised not to visit cemeteries until the epidemic ends, online tomb-sweeping is gaining popularity this year.
Even though the novel coronavirus outbreak has abated domestically, local authorities have maintained an uncompromising ban on tomb-sweeping activities in a bid to prevent large gatherings that could facilitate the spread of the virus. Instead of visiting tombs, many people would stay at home and pay tribute to their dead relatives rather than flock to burial grounds in the period around this holiday.
However, some people hold the opposite opinion that the emergency measures are so crucial to contain the spread of the little-understood virus and make the tradition of tomb sweeping easy to express the respect and recollection of the living for the dead. Yang Anrong, for example, the founder of a funeral etiquette company in Kunming, Yunnan Province and a veteran cemetery manager said, the stripped-down funerals and the lack of opportunity to say last goodbyes were likely to cause psychological damage to the living.
Ancestors may understand things are not in the same way this year and they wouldn't want to risk anything bad happening to their descendants. Under these circumstances, they may support Chinese authorities that lambastes the new approach to tomb-sweeping custom.
(Compiled by Wu Qingyang)