Funeral Rites I

25 09 2008

Funeral arrangements started since last night, where the body was dressed properly and laid in a coffin. By noon most of the arrangements were in place and the wake started. Her sons and daughters-in-law, as well as her daughters, all wore black pants/white shirts, while the grandchildren all wore blue. Sons-in-law were exempted, as we are considered outsiders.

An interesting point to note is about the age written on the lantern above. Roman calendar dictates that she would be 65 years old but Chinese calendar would normally add one more year to take into account the nine months of one being conceived. How then does 70 years old get represented for her?

Chinese custom dictates that when one dies, three additional years are normally added, one each for Heaven, Earth and Mankind. So 66+3 = 69, right? One more was added due to the fact that she had ‘five’ generations of lineage when she passed away i.e. ancestral, herself, her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. So, all in it would be 69+1=70 years old. Interesting.

Anyway, Hokkien funeral customs meant that funeral rites started only in the evening.

Taoist funeral rites started from 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm, and will continue tomorrow.


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