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A Luoyang Funeral

"We are gathered here today to pray for our grandmother. May she become a goddess like the Lady of Mercy."


Burials became more elaborate with the advancement of spiritual development in the Tang diaspora, where the idea of becoming a canonized deity after death was believed to be more ideal than constantly being reborn as a human, animal, or monster.

When the Anglicization Movement became popular, elements of Christian burials were included, without completely overwriting traditional ones. This is why dead bodies are commonly embalmed before funerals today.


Once a person dies, they are given a final bath and put into their death clothes at an embalming center.

Obituaries are printed and plans for the funeral are set out. The deceased's closest relatives will stay with the body to keep watch.

On the day of the funeral proper, all the deceased's relatives will arrive and take part in all sorts of prayers in hopes the soul will ascend to godhood. These prayers will take up at least an entire evening.

The coffin is then nailed shut by a blindfolded funeral attendant who is not related to the deceased, while the entire family looks away.

After that, it is loaded into a van to be sent to a funeral home for further processing along with final prayers.

Components and tools

White and black clothing in simple designs for the mourning guests.

The dead person is buried in Tang Dynasty inspired clothing in most cases, but some dead are simply buried in their best clothing or preferred fashion style, especially if they were members of the Anglicized, Neo-Victorian, or Retrofuturist Movements.

A wooden totem with the following things inscribed upon it: The deceased's false and true names where applicable, dates of birth and death.

Coffins are generally made of sandalwood and inscribed with lotus or cloud motifs, signifying a wish for a better reincarnation if the deceased doesn't become canonized.

Paper totems of furniture, clothes, food, and servants are popular because it is believed they can be redeemed in the afterlife for items of the same value.


Family and friends will usually hire a shaman to help with prayers to allow the dead spirit to leave the mortal world easily.

The eldest son is normally expected to arrange for all the funeral expenses and gear, but if he is no longer part of the ancient faith, his younger brother or eldest sister will take on this role.


Between three to seven days after death, the body is carried to a funeral home where it will either be cremated or buried.

For forty nine days after burial, relatives will not hold any celebrations except the canonization of the dead into godhood, if necessary.

After seventy days, the final canonization of the dead is performed, and mourning is officially over for everyone involved.

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