BEIJING, Dec. 19 -- Chinese officials have been told to set an example through civilized and frugal funerals, in the latest anti-extravagance offensive.
"Party members and officials should set an example in holding simple and civilized funerals... No funeral parlors should be set up in resident communities, streets and public venues... Superstitious practices should be avoided," said a document made public Thursday.
Funerals are increasingly a platform to show off wealth and connections, with the degree of opulence luxury and number of mourners symbolizing the "achievements" of the dead, and setting a benchmark for competition among the living.
"Except in the case of stipulations from the state, special funeral arrangement groups and mourning memorials, in general, should not be held for deceased CPC members and officials," said the document.
Body farewell ceremonies should be modest and strictly controlled in scale, it added.
The document was jointly released by the general offices of the State Council, China's cabinet, and the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.