24 March 2021
不过政府推广的线上祭拜软件效果并不理想。截至2019年年底，“无尽思念”网站有约11,400名使用者，共约14,100个纪念网页。“无尽思念”app在2018年6月启用，政府花费了约 30 万元开发，但截止去年3月仅有3,800 人次下载。截止2020年3月31日，「无尽思念」app的累计下载次数也仅有6000次。
Qingming Festival is a very important traditional festival in Hong Kong. Qingming Festival in Hongkong is similar to that in Chinese mainland. The tomb sweeping in Hongkong is called "worship mountain". In recent years, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has advocated the public to change the complicated traditional forms of sacrifice and sweeping, hoping that the public can express their nostalgia by means of flowers or online reminiscence. As early as 2010, the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) launched the "Endless Thoughts" website, which main purpose is to provide online memorials for relatives and friends. Relatives can set up a dedicated commemorative webpage for the deceased, write down the life and commemorative contents of the deceased, upload photos and videos, and personalize the webpage.
However, the initiative by the government to promote online worshipping did not achieve their expectated results. By the end of 2019, the website has about 11400 users and 14100 commemorative pages. The "Endless Thoughts" app was launched in June 2018. The government spent about 300,000 yuan to develop it, but only 3,800 people downloaded it as of March last year. As of March 31, 2020, the cumulative number of downloads of "endless missing" app was only 6,000.
Online worship services in Hong Kong have not developed smoothly in recent years. Under the 2020 gathering restriction order, the government prohibits gatherings of more than four people in public places, including for worshipping. Some cemeteries in Hong Kong offer ritual services to burn burning clothes on behalf of customers. People can buy services online and find someone to send flowers and burn incense on their behalf. Last year, many stores in Hong Kong did 60% more business than in previous years. Of course, many people in Hong Kong expressed that they were unaccepting to such services. Most of the people still have a strong traditional concept, and cleaning up the cemetery, presenting flowers should be done in person.
In addition to the online worship promoted by the government, Pujie temple in Guangming mountain launched an "Online Ancestor Worship" service for the first time in 2020, allowing the public to purchase the offerings online, and the temple would worship the ancestors on behalf of them. The offerings in the "Online Ancestor Worship" included two LED lights, one cake, one fortune bag, two fresh oranges, two apples and a bunch of flowers. Each "Online Ancestor Worship" package was 48 yuan. In fact, in the early years, Guangming mountain launched the "Online Buddha Worship" service during the Qingming Festival, and the new "Online Ancestor worship" service was launched for the main purpose of epidemic prevention.
All in all, the tradition of tomb-sweeping can not be changed in a short time. The epidemic may have accelerated the use of such services, but more importantly is whether people will accept such online method of ancestor worship in the long run.