Chinese funeral rituals comprise a set of traditions broadly associated with Chinese folk religion , with different rites depending on the age of the deceased, the cause of death, and the deceased's marital and social statuses. However, in general, the funeral ceremony itself is carried out over seven days, and mourners wear funerary dress according to their relationship to the deceased. While traditionally inhumation was favoured, in the present day the dead are often cremated rather than buried, particularly in large cities in China. Throughout history, Chinese people have carried out complex funeral rites, with tombs of early rulers rivalling Ancient Egyptian tombs in their funerary art and provision for the dead in the afterlife. It is customary for relatives to hold vigils over the dying, in order to accompany them till the very last moment before entering the afterlife.
Anthropologist Tik-Sang Liu offers a concise and helpful statement of beliefs in the local religious practice: 1 "Deities, ancestors and ghosts live in an invisible supernatural world which coexists with the natural world, allowing spirits to be closely involved in human matters. Once a human being leaves the natural world, people believe he or she enters the supernatural world as either a spirit or a ghost. All supernatural beings have the ability to affect human matters in the natural world. Responsible descendants should worship their ancestors and provide them with sufficient paper and food offerings to deter them from turning into wild ghosts. The two worlds are linked by ghosts and by reborn human beings. Some people believe that a better result will be attained if the ritual is conducted by a specialist. Professional Daoist priests, known as nanwu nam mo in Cantonese are hired for the most important festivals or major life cycle rituals
According to data, there are about 70 million historical relics collectors in mainland China. Why does China have so many historical relics hidden underground? It is due to the death culture of inhumation in China. Death must bring grief to us, but we have to face it, because it is the law of nature.
Cremation is uncommon. As a result of this, burial of the dead is of utmost importance to the Chinese people. If the burial is carried out incorrectly, it is believed that disaster and bad luck will plague the family of the deceased.