22 March 2021
去年清明，政府呼吁民众清明节期间尽量不要出门，鼓励民众采取分流扫墓，或由少数族人代表现场祭祀，并以网络直播方式参与，或者在线上祭拜。除此之外，取消纳骨塔（存放死者骨灰的建筑）法会，鼓励分流，清明节当天禁止入塔。同时政府鼓励在线祭拜。而对于线上祭祀，台湾内政部在网站上发布了卡通式线上祭拜宣传品。台湾内政部表示，为方便民众远距追思，内政部与6个直辖市、嘉义市、苗栗县、彰化县、云林县及金门县等地方政府，都有提供线上追思服务（内政部全国殡葬资讯入口网: https://mort.moi.gov.tw )。
In Taiwan, Qingming Festival is a very important festival. The custom of Qingming Festival has been passed down for 400 years since Minnan and Hakka people entered Taiwan. In 1935, the government designated Qingming Festival as their national festival. In 1972, it was officially designated as a national holiday. Every year on the Qingming Festival, Taiwanese will worship their ancestors, and a large number of overseas Taiwanese businessmen will return home to worship their ancestors. In the past, every year during the Qingming Festival, there was a large-scale population movement and homecoming due to people returning home for the festival.
Last year, during the Qingming Festival, the government called on the public not to go out as far as possible and encouraged the public to carry out separate tomb sweeping or perform live webcasts or worships online. In addition, the Nagu pagoda (the building where the ashes of the dead are stored) memorial service was cancelled to encourage diversion, and it was forbidden to enter the pagoda on Tomb Sweeping Day. At the same time, the government encouraged online worship. As for online sacrifice, Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior has published cartoon like online sacrifice publicity materials on its website. Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior said that in order to facilitate people's long-distance reminiscence, the Ministry of the Interior and the local governments of six municipalities directly under the central government, Jiayi City, Miaoli County, Changhua County, Yunlin County and Jinmen county would all provide online reminiscence services (Refer to Ministry of the Interior National Funeral Information portal: https://mort.moi.gov.tw )
For those who plan to worship their ancestors in Fude Linggu building, Yangming Mountain Zhen’ai building, Yangming Mountain Linggu tower and other places, they can choose to go to the online memorial network, create the online memorial for the people to be remembered, and select the choice of worship.
Will Taiwan public be more accepting towards live-webcast and online tomb-sweeping in 2021?
Online tomb-sweeping may be in its infancy in Taiwan, and the combination of live broadcasting of Qingming is gaining acceptance the public. The Zheng family temple fair held a central ceremony. In the past, about 3000 people from 15 countries would head to Taiwan to participate in the ceremony, and Zheng's clansmen from all countries and cities in Taiwan would attend the ceremony. In 2020, most people watched the live broadcast. It is estimated that 10 people represented the main ceremony on that day, and no more than 30 people attended the ceremony. The government also took the initiative to promote live-telecast of tomb-sweeping last year. In the first and second funeral hall, the government has set up a free-WiFi network environment and people could borrow free tripod from the funeral management office to carry out live telecast of tomb-sweeping.
Although the government’s initiative, the public still have differences in opinion on online tomb-sweeping. The custom of tomb-sweeping is deeply rooted, especially for the elders, it will take time to change their opinion.