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| Last Updated:14/11/2018

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Eco-friendly cremations gaining acceptance in China

BEIJING: Cremation of the deceased instead of traditional practice of burials is gaining increasing acceptance in China with nearly 50 per cent of the dead being cremated last year to promote environmentalism and save land.

Of the 9.77 million Chinese who died last year, 4.46 million, or 45.6 per cent, were cremated, the ministry of civil affairs (MCA) said today ahead of the traditional tomb sweeping holiday during which Chinese pay respect to dead family members.

The world's most populous nation is promoting eco-friendly burial and funeral practices ahead of the traditional Qingming holiday, when Chinese pay respect to deceased family members.

April 5 is observed as the tomb sweeping day in China for which the government declared a holiday.

Burials are popular in China due to the traditional belief that bodies have to be kept intact.

The ministry is encouraging people to choose land-saving and eco-friendly burials, including scattering ashes around trees and flowers or into the ocean, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry has also said it will regulate burial service fees.