Honoring ancestors in the 'cloud'
China is preparing for Qingming Festival (清明节) or Tomb-Sweeping Day this coming weekend, a national holiday for honoring ancestors.
This usually means taking a few days off to sweep tombs, leaving ritual offerings, and enjoying the spring weather outside with family together. However this year, it will be quite different with the coronavirus public restriction measures.
Cities have established digital registers where people can sign online in for grave visits but it is strongly urged to stay away from graveyards and pay respects through “Cloud tomb sweeping” ; online sacrifices in which graveyard staff can clean the graves and deliver incense, flowers or wine with livestreaming online or setting up your family account in a cloud tomb sweeping app where you can share your grief, messages and digital gifts with each other.
“Cloud tomb sweeping” is not strange to Chinese people as family members often live far apart, difficult to be physically present for tomb sweeping.
Online sweeping platforms and services have been in the market for quite some years through apps and e-commerce channels. Even QR codes are being set on tomb stones or urns where people can log in to share pictures, messages and digital gifts.
Sources shine-cn, radii