Want to buy an iPhone or an iPad for your deceased ancestor? Apparently, many Chinese do just that. Well, the devices are made of paper but look the same.
The Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, is a time for paying respect to the ancestors in China. Some shops in Guangzhou (Canton) selling sacrificial offerings have put paper-made versions of Apple products on their shelves. A package of two paper iPads and four iPhones sells for 6 yuan (roughly 90 cents U.S.). A MacBook also costs 6 yuan. The paper iPads and iPhones come complete with a (paper) USB cable so the dead can sync their data with their paper computers.
Also available are paper versions of Panasonic LCD TV sets as well as the more traditional cash, credit cards, clothes, airline tickets, face wash and aftershave.
Qingming is celebrated by the Chinese as a way to remember their deceased ancestors by visiting their graves and burial grounds. It is tradition for the living to clean the grave of their ancestors as well as offer worldly gifts to the dead in the form of paper replicas that are “sent” to the other side by way of burning.
Every year across the country, more than 1,000 tons of paper products are burnt as offerings during the Qingming Festival period, costing more than 10 billion yuan.
I'm trying to figure out what the deceased is going to do with an airline ticket.