Thu, 24 Jun 2021

Beijing [China], May 14 (ANI): Following calls for frugality from China's central government, a Chinese county has introduced a controversial measure of banning birthday parties, housewarmings and other celebrations.

The Funing county in southwestern Yunnan province also revealed new rules for weddings and mourning the dead, including a ban on cash gifts above 200 yuan (USD 31) and ordering that funerals cannot be longer than three days, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Important occasions except for marriage and death would all be banned from this month, according to a notice issued by the county government last week.

This new policy is in line with the central government's decision to simplify weddings and funerals since 2016 and aimed at creating a more "civilised" and "clean" environment, according to the document.

Though cash gifts to a newly married couple is customary, they have also been used as bribes in situations such as where the event host is someone powerful within the government, SCMP reported.

The new rules require public servants to report wedding plans, including the location, time, guest list and cost to the government in advance, and funeral details within 10 days after it's held. The wedding banquet should be under 20 tables and the number of guests should not exceed 200.

There has long been an emphasis on holding extravagant events for wedding and funerals as they are traditionally regarded as key indicators of the host's social status in China.

After a directive on changing customs jointly issued by 11 central government bodies in 2019 ordered local authorities to issue policies on preventing lavish events, many local governments have rolled out contentious measures in recent years, which many have argued were intrusive, heavy-handed and completely over the top.

In 2018, the Lucheng district government in Zhejiang province specified that no more than five wreaths could be displayed and no more than five vehicles could be used at one funeral in a detailed regulation on weddings and funerals in 2018, SCMP reported. (ANI)

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