Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The funeral and mourning customs of the Chinese are so strangle* that it would take a book to describe them. J There are (writes F. G. Carpenter) five degrees of mourning, each" of which has its own, regulations. There is a certain kind of mourning for parents, ' another for uncles and aunts and for dear friends. There is deep mourning and half -mourning. In the deepest, sackcloth is worn without hem or border. In the next grade, one may have blue clothes with a sackcloth belt, and in others he may wear plain clothes, such as white, grey, and black. During three years after the deaifc of a parent no silks should be worn; and the man, if an official, should retire to private life to wail. This. was required of Li Hung Chang when his mother died, but his services were euch that the Empress-Dowager begj ged him to omit the custom for the sake of the State. When a death occurs in a Chinese | family, its members put on sackcloth or white clothes, braid white into their queues, and wear white buttons on their caps. They send out juouraing cards of white paper. i At the end of six months or .so they go into half -mourning. They change their white clothes for blue ones, have I buttons on their caps, and braid blue threads into their queues. They send ! out blue cards, and on them are printed the characters which state: — "Grief not so bitter as before." This means that the members of the family are ready to (resume their relations with the world, and that their friends will be allowed to call to condole with them. Later still they drop the blue I and come out in the gorgeous silks ' and satins common to their daily life. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVIII, 17 January 1910, Page 3

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