A Travellerspoint blog

April 2012

Colourful Return Bike Adventures From The Moon

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Wanko soba anyone?

Sobagaki sobayu or Mentaiko from Fukuoka, Karasumi, Katayaki Senbei or Yukimi Daifuku, Kuzumochi, Monaka, Mitarashi Dango, Ankou Nabe, Nozawanazuke, Takanazuke, Tamago Kake Gohan, Rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments, Komochi Kombu or Kazunoko, Yamakake, Yamaimo Maguro, Atsuyaki Tamago, Kobucha, Kasutera, Tazukuri, Karintou, Hoshigaki, Inarizushi, Chikuzen-ni or maybe Surume?

If none of the above blow your hair back then maybe some Nigiri-Zushi or several types of Sushi and some Sake might jiggle your bits and pieces. For those wondering if I’ve either gone madder, more insane or changed countries then I’ll make it simple, the new Japanese restaurant in Shangrao city is more than the winner I thought it would be. The Chinese many respond with words of hatred when you simply say the word Japan, but offer a Japanese restaurant, they will wait in line to be seated.

When it comes to food the Chinese seem to put aside their differences.

For those that don’t know and that have never visited the Land of Beers N Noodles then that’s what life is all about here in China…Food…preparing it, cooking it, presenting it and then taking as long as possible to eat it whilst not only having as much fun and beer as possible, but also to be as loud as humanly possible.

Could I possibly add another possible in there? It’s possible that I possibly could!

Of late, the weather has been in my favour and I’ve been getting three to four hours riding in most afternoons and on weekends when it’s not raining, a hell of a lot more. I love this time of year, after a long cold winter getting back into the saddle and re-acquainting myself with the freedom and joy of riding (hat quickly crept to the dark recesses of my mind when winter came crashing through the front door).

The photos are from my 'Return Ride’ from Moon Hill that takes me through a heap of small villages and back to Shangrao city. Most of the photos are from ‘off shoots’ that take me further out into the hills but always seem to end leaving me having to ride back the way I came to then continue on until the next village. The rest of the blog though is just some general information on Japanese food and instead of offering a thorough guide I decided to simply leave it at the history of Sushi as the following is in no way a history lesson. Having a new and very tasty Japanese Restaurant nearby simply got me thinking, where did all these tasty treats come from and needless to say that with China’s long history that there really was no need to be so surprised with some of the answers.

With a time-honored history, Chinese cuisine culture is extensive and profound.

According to records, as early as in the Shang and Zhou dynasties over three thousand years ago, a fairly complete culinary system was formed. Thanks to the constant development and improvement over the past several thousand years, Chinese cuisine has become a complete culture system with unique characteristics which has also given birth to other cultures such as the tea culture.

<u>History of Sushi</u>

The history of sushi shows first of all that it does not originally come from Japan, but from China. In China it was used to preserve raw fish. Still sushi had a different form, because back then fish was flattened with a big and heavy stone in order to make it durable. In addition to this the fish was salted also to extend the durability. At that time fish was served on rice, which was not eaten but used because of its heat to cook the raw fish a little. Later, in the 8th century sushi came to Japan where rice was already used as food, especially with fish and this was the first time sushi was not used as a preserving method but as a delicatessen and it was from this point in time that sushi began changing.

Vinegar was added to the rice and together with the traditional fish vegetables were integrated and sushi became more and more like the sushi we know today.

In the 19th century sushi became such a popular meal in Japan that you could buy it almost anywhere in Tokyo and supposedly it spread to the rest of the county due to an earth quake that shattered the city. Many people who earned their living selling sushi fled back to their villages of origin and opened new sushi eateries, thus the recipe quickly spread through the rest of Japan and years later the sushi boom exploded throughout America, Europe and finally Australia.

<u>What Is Sushi</u>

Sushi? That’s raw fish, right? I’m not eating stuff like that!

At first one should know that there are different kinds of sushi and to begin, there is the Nigiri Sushi. This is the classical kind of sushi consisting of rice that is shaped into the form of a cube with fish or grilled eel pieces etc placed on it which are then fixed with an alga-band. Another well-known sushi is the Hoso Maki which consists of small rolls with stuffing and an outer layer of alga. The stuffing is made of many different ingredients such as different types of fish, fish eggs, Japanese mushrooms, cucumber and avocado. Ura Maki (inside out sushi) is basically Hoso Maki with another layer of rice around it and fish eggs or sesame stuck on this outer layer. Temaki Sushi, the last kind of I’ll mention, mainly as I don’t really know that much about sushi except that I love to consume it in large quintiles, is made up of little alga bags with a filling, which again consists of rice and a small piece of fish. All sushi is generally served with hot &#8216;Wasabi’ (Japanese green horseradish) and soy sauce and the wasabi and soy sauce are mixed and then used as a dip.

<u>Typical Japanese Food</u>

The typical Japanese meal consists of a bowl of rice (gohan), a bowl of miso soup (miso shiru), pickled vegetables (tsukemono) and fish or meat. While rice is the staple food, several kinds of noodles (udon, soba and ramen) are cheap and very popular for light meals. As an island nation, the Japanese take great pride in their seafood and a wide variety of fish, squid, octopus, eel, and shellfish appear in all kinds of dishes from sushi to tempura.

<u>Rice</u>

Like with all rice growing Asian countries, the cultivation of rice in paddy fields traditionally required great cooperation between villagers and this is said to have been central to the evolution of Japanese culture. There are several thousand varieties grown in Japan, with Koshihikari and Akita Komachi being among the most popular. Rice is also used to make mochi (rice cakes), senbei (rice crackers) and sake (rice wine). Rice can also be cooked with red beans (sekihan), seafood and vegetables (Takikomi gohan) or as a kind of watery porridge seasoned with salt (kayu) which is very popular as a cold remedy. Onigiri are rice balls with seafood or vegetables in the middle, usually wrapped in a piece of dried seaweed (nori).

<u>Noodles - Udon and soba</u>

Udon noodles are made from wheat flour and are boiled and served in a broth, usually hot but occasionally cold in summer, and topped with ingredients such as a raw egg to make tsukimi udon, and deep-fried tofu aburage to make kitsune udon. Soba is buckwheat noodles and are thinner and a darker color than udon. Soba is usually served cold (zaru soba) with a dipping sauce, sliced green onions and wasabi. When served in a hot broth, it is known as kake soba. Served with the same toppings as udon, you get tsukimi soba, kitsune soba and tempura soba.

<u>Noodles - Ramen</u>

While udon and soba are also believed to have come from China, only ramen retains its image as Chinese food. Ramen is thin egg noodles which are almost always served in a hot broth flavored with shoyu or miso. This is topped with a variety of ingredients such as slices of roast pork (chashu), bean sprouts (moyashi), sweetcorn and butter. Ramen is popular throughout Japan and different regions are known for their variations on the theme.

<u>Seafood & Meat</u>

Japanese people consume a lot more fish than is typical in western countries and this is said to be a major factor in the country's relatively low rate of heart disease. Seafood is eaten in just about any form you can imagine, from raw sushi and sashimi to grilled sweet fish and clams. The spread of &#8216;kaitenzushi’ (conveyor belt sushi) restaurants has made sushi into a homegrown fast-food that offsets some of the influence of imports like McDonalds. Many people are surprised to learn that meat consumption was illegal in Japan until the ban was lifted during the Meiji Restoration in the 1870s. As the country opened up to western culture, eating habits also began to change. Now meat is increasingly part of the everyday Japanese diet, with yakitori (grilled chicken), yakiniku (Korean barbeque), gyudon (beef bowl) and of course the standard fare of foreign and local hamburger chain restaurants ubiquitous across the country. This has led to an increase in related health problems, though the Japanese still maintain their position as the world's longest-living people.

<u>Soy Products</u>

The humble soybean (daizu) is used to make a wide variety of foods and flavourings.

Soybeans and rice are used to make miso, a paste used for flavouring soup and marinating fish. Together with soy sauce (shoyu), miso is a foundation of Japanese cuisine. Tofu is soybean curd and a popular source of protein, especially for vegetarians. These days, even tofu donuts and tofu ice-cream are available. Natto, fermented soybeans, is one of the healthiest but also the most notorious item on the menu. With a pungent smell and sticky, stringy texture, natto is easy to dislike straight away. Japanese people themselves tend to either love it or hate it. It is usually served with chopped onions and a raw egg and mixed into a bowl of rice.

<u>SAKE &#8211; Japanese Rice Wine</u>

Alcohol appears in the earliest historical records and third century Chinese records describe the inhabitants of Japan as being fond of their liquor and this remains little changed today. Consumption of sake was overtaken by that of beer around the beginning of the 20th century. In recent years, beer and other cheaper liquids account for over seventy five percent of alcohol consumption.

In Japanese, the word sake is also used as a generic term for alcohol. The correct term for refined Japanese rice wine is seishu, or more commonly nihonshu.

Like wine made from grapes, there are regional variations and good and bad years but sake is not usually stored for more than a year. Good sake is produced all over the country and with thousands of small breweries, finding one to suit your palate shouldn't be too hard. There are different grades of sake depending on the milling process used on the rice and what additives are used, if any. The production cycle takes about one year: Autumn rice is used in the brewing process, which starts in winter and ends the following spring. The sake matures during the summer and is finally bottled in the autumn. Sake has alcohol content similar to wine, around sixteen percent. It can be served either warmed or chilled. The cheaper varieties are usually served hot (atsukan) straight into a glass in cheap drinking establishments like izakaya or yakitoriya otherwise it is served in an earthenware bottle (tokkuri) and poured into small cups (sakazuki).

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The 5,6,7,8’s Originally from Tokyo and most of you would have heard/seen them in Quentin Tarantino’s &#8216;Kill Bill 1’ along with The Fast & The Furious Tokyo Drift. ____________________________________________________________

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill


The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

The Return Adventure From Moon Hill

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Colourful Bike Adventures to the Moon

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

In comes Titanic in 3D, or should that read 'down goes Titanic in 3D’. How many times and ways can you sink the same ship?

Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to finally see it on the big screen but as for the 3D part, kind of felt like a total waste of time really. I love the movie no matter what &#8216;D’ it is being shown in but personally I thought came across pretty much the same as before but for me, bigger.

Speaking of Titanic, about a month ago when the polar bears and freezing cold temperatures finally departed Jiangxi Province and my feet found friends in peddles once more, there I was one glorious sunny day riding along one of the main roads out of town looking for something such as an interesting off road to the hills, a temple or even a snackery with a new treat and around twenty minutes out of town I was greeted with a sight that definitely fit the day’s criteria.

Rounding a bend in the road that carried endless buses and trucks that whizzed past me, came the sight of what looked like Titanic’s rear end frozen in time, captured as it began its slow departure from the world above into the silent and darkened depths below. I stopped for a water break and after continuing on my way I noticed a large hole in Titanic’s side giving it a more humorous side;

Maybe with each 3D ticket they could have offered free 3D Titanic donuts.

As I slowly approached what is known locally as &#8216;Moon Hill’ I noticed people at the top, so I then went about finding out just how to make myself one of them. I took the next small off road and for the life of me I couldn’t find a track leading towards it. In the end I continued to enjoy the sunshine and followed the small road until it ended at a small village ten minutes later. Once back near Moon Hill I spotted two people slowly descending so I decided to take a break and see where they came out.

Five minutes later and after nearly tripping over each other’s feet at seeing a foreigner making his way towards them they asked me if it was ok if we stopped to talk and after saying the usual &#8216;Hello, no I’m not from America, I’m from Australia etc’ I was making my way to the top and upon arrival I was greeted with the most beautiful view I’d had since Autumn turned into Winter, with it taking away my personal freedom leaving me couch bound and cold for the next three or so months.

Over the past month I’ve returned to Moon Hill several times and have spent each of the afternoons getting lost and found far out in the distant mountains you can see in the photos, trying to put together a ride that takes me back to the city. So far though I’ve found no roads that link each village and one must always return the way they came. Thankfully though just across from Moon Hill there is a small road that winds its way through all the closer villages which runs all the way back to Shangrao County.

But that can wait for a future blog and for now let’s just enjoy the colourful joy and warmth of that moment in time along with some happy smiles from my Grade 2 students.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by David Bowie The album was &#8216;The Best of Bowie’ ____________________________________________________________

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure


Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Moon Hill &#38;amp; Village Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Tombs, Tombs, Tombs! At this time of the year, it’s all about tombs!

Prior to everyone back home in Australia entering the Easter celebrations, things of a different kind were being celebrated here in China. Both just as strange and mythical as each other, burning paper offerings such as money, watches and cell phones here in China, whilst back home in Australia an Easter Bilby performed the work of Santa and laid chocolate eggs in people’s yards to be hunted by children like pirates to treasure.

Both are not just for the spiritual though as they allow families to gather, and enjoy each other’s company which is for many, only once or twice a year.

<u>First a bit on the Australian Easter Bilby</u>

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. The four day Easter weekend marks the end of the summer season for most Australians. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was sentenced to death by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. He was crucified on a Friday and when he died, he was laid in a tomb. On the following Sunday, a group of women visited the tomb and found it empty as Jesus had been brought back to life.

Many of the Easter customs originate from customs tied with the spiritual beliefs of Europeans in pre-Christian times. In Europe, Easter marked the beginning of spring. As winter passed, nature returned to life and birds began laying eggs. Small animals, such as rabbits, came out of hibernation and could be seen running around and mating in the fields. Various symbols are associated with Easter. Christian symbols include crosses, Jesus' empty tomb and the white and gold vestments (robes) worn by priests and church leaders.

Other symbols include Easter eggs, rabbits, chocolates and the Easter bilby.

Traditionally, Easter eggs were supposedly delivered by the Easter rabbit or bunny which is similar to the tradition in many European countries. However, rabbits were/are seen as pests in Australia, as they destroy crops and natural habitats. For these reasons, there has been a movement to suggest that Easter eggs are hidden by the Easter bilby, but for me Easter Bunny always seemed to beat the Easter Bilby. The bilby is a small, shy mammal with big ears, which is native to Australia and an endangered species. It is possible to buy Easter bilbies made from chocolate and some of the profits go to help preserve these animals.

<u>Now crossing back to me here in China</u>

We worked last weekend (31st & 1st) and I then I had the following three days free to explore the normal yet strange happenings in the world around me as here in rural China, the afterlife is also a very serious matter. I took a few walks on what I have dubbed Bird Pagoda Hill which is found just across the walking bridge from the cities Pedistrian Street and Shopping Mall. Finding a way up is always a little difficult as it is a 'Local Residents’ area mainly for the burial of family members.

Along with a nightly steep stroll up to the pagoda and back.

The hill is surrounded by lush green fields, the riverside mountains that make up White Forest Park along with distant others that are constantly hazy giving Bird Pagoda Hill the perfect Feng Shui for your dear departed. Small villages can be found dotted around the hill and throughout the fields which also make it perfect for a peaceful days walk. The villages obviously formed the beginning of the city and after spending many hours meandering around one easily gets the feel of what life would have been like &#8216;way back when’.

<u>Now for a bit on the Tomb Sweeping Festival (Qingming)</u>

After more than sixty years of Communist Party rule, the festival of Qingming or &#8216;Tomb-Sweeping Festival’, celebrated on the fifteenth day after spring equinox (April 4th this year), is enjoying a revival. Though suppressed during the Cultural Revolution, the festival was reinstated as a public holiday in 2008. An important part of traditional filial duty is to honour the souls of the departed, and Qingming is the day to tend to a deceased relative’s grave.

According to China’s director of the division of funeral and interment management, 2011 brought almost four and a half million cremations, which was forty eight percent of all registered deaths.

Fifty two percent still followed the traditional burial practices with the person being laid to rest in countryside areas. Gravesite visits for the holiday are therefore still common and the extended holiday is more than needed for families to return home to honor ancestors. After washing the tombstone and repainting its inscription, visiting relatives deck it with flowers, and spread food, drink, paper money and other things needed for life in the next world out in front. By the time they’ve finished, many graves look like they’ve hosted a feast. While some might expect a funeral, in reality Qingming is most likely to turn out as a lively and happy day out for the family and in China, showing reverence for the dead is really about strengthening bonds between the living

It is also peak season for what is known as &#8216;Ghost Marriages’. Sadly, it is also the time of year when Bodysnatching proves most lucrative.

Ghost marriage (Minghun) is a three thousand year old custom practiced especially in northern China where the majority of rural families in the north, whose relatives die unbetrothed , seek &#8216;Ghost Spouses’ for the departed. According to custom, the bodies are buried together in a ceremony that is a cross between a wedding and a funeral. Their ghosts, it is believed, will then no longer be lonely, and the family’s fortunes will be restored.

This year, an eighteen year old man surnamed Liu, who died of heart disease, was joined in a ghost marriage with a seventeen year old woman named Wu, who died of a brain tumour. The Liu clan paid thirty five thousand Yuan ($5,600) for the body of Ms Wu, a hefty sum for a farming family in Hebei where the average income per person is around five thousand Yuan per year. Having never met in life, the two were buried together in death, and dumplings were scattered on their grave.

Their honeymoon was cut short soon after, however, when grave robbers snatched Ms Wu’s body, reselling her into another ghost marriage in a neighbouring province and sadly trade in female corpses is flourishing in these poor rural areas.

Bodies are typically procured through brokers, with the typical quoted price of a fresh corpse rising at least twenty five percent in the past five years to around fifty thousand Yuan. A Chinese newspaper last year blamed rich coal mine bosses for driving the cost of a female corpse as high as one hundred and thirty thousand Yuan. In 2010, a bodysnatching ring was broken up in Hebei province. Its members had robbed dozens of graves in the region, earning hundreds of thousands of Yuan.

Ghost marriages have long been shrouded in controversy.

A record in the Zhouli, an ancient Confucian text dated from the 2nd century BC, forbids the custom, but there are records of the imperial family conducting ghost marriages in the Tang (618-907AD) and Song (960-1279AD) dynasties. Under Chairman Mao the custom was labelled superstitious and banned outright. It is believed that the recent upswing in ghost marriages is in part due to China’s economic boom. Rural families are now better able to afford the steep price of a corpse bride and the resurgent trade in bodysnatching has brought a reliable supply of fresh corpses that has spurred consumer demand.

The Liu family is hoping to lay its ghosts to rest as after arresting four of the five grave robbers, police finally returned Ms Wu’s body to their son, her original ghost husband. Perhaps, finally, it will leave their loved ones alone in the next.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Catatonia The album was &#8216;Equally Cursed & Blessed’ ____________________________________________________________

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill


A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

A Tomb Sweeping Easter On Bird Pagoda Hill

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)