The Departed

Scenery from Fude Public Cemetery, Taipei City, Taiwan.

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Fude Cemetery is one of the largest public cemeteries in Taipei, located on the hilly area southeast Taipei City. It is spanned about 5 km along Chongde Street from Liuzhangli to Muzha. The dead people buried in this place come from different backgrounds, Confucian, Buddhism, Christian, and Muslim. The Chinese graves and the tombs are very unique, which can also attract visiting tourists.

Every year, in the first week of April, Taiwanese people celebrate the Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming Festival. In this event, they visit the graves of their ancestors to clean them and pray for the departed spirits. Usually they also burn some joss paper (paper money) to ensure that the spirits still have good things up there.

This Tomb Sweeping tradition began from a very long time ago in the ancient China. It is believed that worshipping the ancestors is the very original ‘religion’ in China, before the coming of modern religions. The sophisticated designs of the tombs also reflect that these people highly honor their ancestors.

The public cemeteries in Taipei City is very well maintained, the local government is very supportive regarding this. In some special events like the Qingming, they event provide a free shuttle services to the cemeteries from the nearest MRT stations. The local people can freely do their religious activities in a very convenient way.

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