Chinese county collects thousands of coffins as it tries to lay burials to rest
Authorities pay owners to surrender their enduring talismans of longevity
Thousands of coffins have been handed over to authorities in a county in eastern China as part of a campaign to promote cremation, Chinese media report.
In all, 5,871 coffins were handed in from 24 villages and townships in Gaoan county, Jiangxi province, over three days from Thursday, “as a result of the solid work involving far-reaching policy communication and door-to-door home visits”, Thepaper.cn reported.
There is a long tradition in rural China of elderly people buying their own coffin and keeping it at home for longevity and good fortune.
China has been promoting cremation as a way to save on land and discourage extravagant burials but the coffin tradition continues in some rural areas.
Coffins can cost more than 5,000 yuan (US$770) but county authorities offered 2,000 yuan for each one, the report said.
Fu Qiuang, 94, was quick to hand over his coffin.
“As a Communist Party member for 60 years, I should volunteer and take the lead in this campaign,” the report quoted Fu as saying.