My Dad always said, always go to the funeral.

But in China? The funeral comes to you. In my xiao qu or residential complex, there have been three traditional Chinese funerals in the past few weeks. Each, included a parade with mourners, a casket and colorful banners and drums.  The widow or widower would wear a white headband, and would be held up by loving friends. Someone else would carry a portrait of the deceased.

Mourners beat drums to scare away the spirits along with light hundreds of fire-crackers. Friends and family have a vigil outside of the apartment for one or more days, continuing to light incense and burn ghost money, still and firecrackers. A huge boat is filled with offerings of gold ghost money, folded like boats. The ceremony would start about 7 am.

Sorrow needs no translation.

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