A quick start to Chinese funerary practices - meta thread!

I'll be explaining the coffin houses, paper money, paper effigies, and the chinese version of hell using my footnotes from Chapter 33. (Wangxian enter the Yi City)


#MDZS #CQL #MoDaoZuShi
1. 义庄 (yì zhuāng) Coffin Houses. Upon seeing the stone tablet, wwx comments to lwj that the "Yi" stands for "Coffin houses." But what were they?

Coffin Houses were an establishment where the deceased are prepared for burial or cremation. They are sometimes described as
"coffin homes” and “funeral houses”. Here's a video which outlines a "coffin house" in Hong Kong

The next two items fall under the same category of 纸扎 Zhizha. This is the traditional practice of creating paper craft which are then used in Taoist celebrations and funerals.

2. 纸钱 (zhǐ qián) – Literally translated as “paper money”, joss papers are a type of funerary item burned for the deceased. There are a different types of “paper money” used for various purposes. An assortment of these are burned for the deceased so that they can have safe
passage and a comfortable life in the netherworld. This is still practiced even till today.

3. 纸人 (zhǐ rén) – This is another type of funerary items burned for the deceased. These effigies are meant to help the deceased live comfortably in the netherworld, taking on roles such as servants or chauffeurs.
SCMP has a really good article detailing the art of making paper effigies.

4. In the chapter, Wei Wuxian describes the usage of the effigies. We've described it as such in our own chapter.

"Even though it was covered in exaggerated make-up, its features were extremely intricate. Yi City specialised in
crafting funerary and yin worshipping items. Naturally, they would be skilled at making paper effigies. A particular type of paper effigy was a substitute effigy. The common folk believed that burning such effigies for the deceased would allow the effigies to take the place of
their ancestors’ suffering in hell, be it to ascend a mountain of knives, to be dropped into a cauldron of boiling oil"

The phrase 上刀山,下油锅 (ascend a mountain of knives, to be dropped into a cauldron of boiling oil) is a popular idiom, which means to be placed in a
dangerous situation. However, this phrase arises from a set of specific punishments in the Chinese Hell. There are 18 levels and each sin carries a specific
punishment. This article lists the punishments and the history of the Chinese Hell. localiiz.com/post/culture-l…
// warning: please note that the items listed in the above meta is still widely practiced even in this day and age. it's the most actively practiced during the Ghost Festival. So if you're writing a fic and if you're unfamiliar with this practice,
please respect it and get someone who's familiar to check through this. i can't stress this enough.

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