Chinese county collects thousands of coffins as it tries to lay burials to rest

Authorities pay owners to surrender their enduring talismans of longevity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2018, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2018, 5:04pm

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.

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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.

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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.