One of the most significant rites of passage that almost any human being would go through is the burial or death ritual. Still, now, there is a plethora of burial rituals and etiquette that civilizations around the world adhere to, and it is fascinating to note that some of these are centuries old, owing to the culture’s antiquity.
Without a doubt, China is one of the world’s oldest living cultures. People in modern-day China admire their ancient Chinese traditional funeral practises only as much as they value technological advances and modernization. Funeral rituals are an integral aspect of Chinese culture, not just in terms of religion, but also in terms of social life.
The Protocol for a Chinese Funeral
Chinese traditional funeral rituals are very significant in Chinese culture, and all of the set rules and protocol must be strictly observed. It is assumed that someone who tries to follow the funeral rules and protocol brings ill-luck to his or her kin. Traditionally, the Chinese have extravagant funeral ceremonies. This Chinese traditional funeral article discusses some of the critical etiquettes that must be observed at a traditional Chinese funeral.
- If you are attending a Chinese funeral as a guest, make sure you dress in dark and sober colours. Although you may wear pale and muted colours, black is the most secure colour to wear. Avoid wearing bright and vibrant clothes, as these colours can reflect moods other than mourning. Wearing red is frowned upon in China because it is synonymous with happiness.
- The Chinese funeral entails a number of rituals that must be carried out correctly. Traditionally, a time known as the “wake” precedes the real funeral. This Chinese traditional funeral cycle lasts several days and is held either at the family home or at a nearby shrine, during which time family members and close friends are expected to provide flowers for the deceased.
- On the day of the funeral, all visitors are required to send money to the deceased’s family members in white envelopes. This may be sent directly to a family member, either on the day of the funeral or the day before.
- When all of this is over and the visitors are about to leave, the deceased’s family distributes Chinese traditional funeral red envelopes among them. Each of these envelopes has a coin inside.
- Before departing for their respective houses, the guests are often required to eat a piece of sweet candy as a symbol of a new beginning. Occasionally, the visitors are often given a handkerchief.
- It should be remembered that the three things listed above, including the coin wrapper, the handkerchief, and the sweets, should not be taken home by the visitors. These Chinese traditional funeral objects are thought to bring bad luck if used in this manner.
- It is often traditional for bereaved families to present their visitors with a red thread as they depart for their homes. This Chinese traditional funeral thread is thought to fend off bad spirits, so visitors can take it home and bind it to their doorknobs.