Afterlife Ritual Practice Essay

Words: 1192
Pages: 5

Afterlife ritual practice is a cultural phenomenon which presented differently among different religions. It reflects a nation basic attitude to death and afterlife, soul, and underworld. From the ancient time to the present, funeral ceremony and other sacred activities are major event in both western and eastern countries. With consideration to many various afterlife ritual practice we’ve explored, I found that the Chinese burning paper money offering act as nourishment for the dead ancestors to be as empowering as any other practice we have seen throughout the course. Ritual practice plays an significant role in China for over thousands years and burning paper to ancestors has always been a traditional custom in China. There are multiple …show more content…
As far back as I can remember, burning paper money is essential event in the Chinese New Year. I remember every Chinese New Year Eve before I came to United States since 2005, all of my family members gather to have a reunion dinner, and when the clock struck twelve, all of us would bring the paper money and went to the street intersection. My parents purchased paper money separately, that means they show their filial piety to their own ancestors. First they located an appropriate street intersection with facing the direction of the wind to ensure the paper money could be burned into ashes completely which symbolize the deceased received money. After that, they drew a big circle on the ground with stick, each circle represent their own ancestors even though they all burn the paper money at same time from circle to circle. The interesting thing is they kept a opening at the end of the circle, and the opening facing the hometown that deceased lived when they alive. They burned the paper money inside the circle which ensure that no other wandering ghost could take away the money. During the process of burning paper money, they were talking to the dead and telling the dead about circumstances that happened in the past year, and also told them to bless our family healthy and