3 Chinese Funeral Traditions You Need to KnowSeptember 19th, 2019
China is a country steeped in faith and rich traditions, and these traditions often extend to burials and funerals. If you’re attending a traditional Chinese funeral, make sure you understand these three common processions and expectations.
- White and black vs. pink. Age plays a very significant role in Chinese culture, as elders are respected and revered. The color you should wear to the funeral will depend on the age of the deceased. If the deceased was less than 80 years old when he or she passed, stick with traditional mourning colors like navy, black, or white. However, if the deceased was over the age of 80, the color pink may also be worn. Pink is a color that symbolizes joy and happiness in Chinese culture. Living to be 80 years’ old is generally seen as something to be celebrated, so these funerals tend to focus less on mourning and more on celebrating the departed’s life. If you aren’t sure of the departed’s age, choose a white or black ensemble.
- Joss paper. Traditional Chinese funerals may involve a burial or a low cost cremation in Montgomery County depending on the wishes of the departed and the family. No matter which method is chosen, there will be a small ceremony beforehand when the family burns joss paper. Joss papers (or “spirit papers”) are charms that help ensure the loved one who has passed reaches the afterlife without interference from evil spirits. Small toy cars, fake money, and miniature houses may also be burned to ensure that the loved one has everything he or she will need in the afterlife.
- Red thread. A common Chinese superstition dictates that spirits hanging around gravesites often attempt to follow the living home after a funeral procession. The family of the deceased may present you with a red thread following the funeral. You are supposed to take the thread home and tie it to your doorknob. This prevents the spirits from entering your home.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, McCafferty Funeral Home is here for you. Our burial packages and affordable cremations in Montgomery County can help you celebrate the unique life that your loved one lived. Call us now at 215-531-5014 for immediate service.