Sunday, April 03, 2005


Today is yet another festival in merry ol' China, this one being specifically dedicated to honoring one's ancestors. As such, the streets are lined with people burning money in hopes of their departed returning from the grave. I would have taken a picture, but I was told it would be considered very disrespectful. And as we all know I have great love for all things zombie (not in that way, sicko), I needed to blog something.

China, you should know, was the first civilization to invent paper. How long after I do not know, but I'm pretty sure they were also the first to introduce the concept of paper money. Now at first, as with most monetary shifts (look at the gold/silver/GNP standard in the US), no one paid any attention to this funny paper, deeming it worthless next to a coin of gold. But the wily emperor came up with a plan! First he staged his death. After laying low for a few days, during which his court attendents (probably eunuchs) burnt piles upon piles of paper money, just as he had instructed in his will. Then, miraculously, the emperor rose from his grave to reclaim his throne! And lo! The tradition of burning money was born. Or re-born. From the grave. I'll shut up now.

After one last note: they dont burn real money nowadays. Come on.


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