Rituals in Chinese Culture following a Funeral


My informant, a Chinese-American, discussed common Chinese rituals following a funeral. In Chinese culture after a funeral you are not supposed to go home immediately, rather you are supposed to walk around, perhaps around the block, or in a park, so that the ghosts don’t follow you, or so they get lost themselves. Also, you are supposed to take “hell money” (money used in the after world) when you are walking and throw it in in the other direction. My informant said that it is customary to throw money ten times. The purpose of this is so that the ghosts chase the money, and in a sense give the people an escape route on their way home. They don’t want the ghosts to follow them home, especially during a time when their family is in a vulnerable state. It is important to note that Chinese are very superstitious of ghosts.