Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Bizzare & Odd

Posthumous marriages: why do the Chinese steal the bodies of unmarried dead from cemeteries

Posthumous marriages: why do the Chinese steal the bodies of unmarried dead from cemeteries 1

Dozens of people are condemned every year for robbing graves and stealing corpses in China. What drives these vandals in the 21st century? It turns out that, as in Europe of the 17th-19th centuries, there is a thirst for profit. 

You can make a good “business” on the “fresh” corpses in China, thanks to the ancient custom of “yin hun” – the marriage of the dead.

Weddings of the Dead in China

This Chinese tradition has been around for about two millennia. It owes its appearance to the religious beliefs of the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom: the cult of ancestors and Taoism. According to Chinese religious philosophy, the souls of the dead go to the world of shadows, where they are helped by the spirits of their ancestors. But only on condition that the harmony of the Tao is observed – the unity of the male and female principles.

Troubles in the afterlife lie in wait for those men who died before marriage. Moreover, they can harm living relatives by sending them misfortunes and illnesses. In no less danger are the souls of those whose widows enter into marital relations again. The invisible connection of the unity of Yin and Yang is collapsing, and therefore the first task of relatives is to restore harmonic balance.

The corpses of unmarried girls become “brides” of failed suitors. The best option is the recently deceased and preferably beautiful in life. The families of the deceased can get a lot of money for such a corpse – a ransom similar to what the groom’s family would pay for the bride during her lifetime. At worst, a century-old skeleton will do. The main thing is to follow the ritual and rebury the female remains next to the grave of a bachelor.

Marry a Spirit

However, not only corpses become the wives of the dead. If the boy and girl were lovers, but the groom died before the wedding, the bride may be asked to become the wife of the spirit. The betrothal is carried out according to all the rules, only instead of the groom, a white rooster is present at the ceremony, personifying the soul of the deceased. After the “wedding”, the newly-minted wife moves to live with the family of the deceased groom and takes a vow of celibacy.

Of course, such a prospect for a young girl can hardly be called rosy. But among the Chinese living in rural areas, the custom of posthumous marriages is still quite popular. Moreover, the family of a girl who “marries” a spirit receives a good ransom. A significant role in the popularity of the tradition is also played by the fact that officially posthumous marriages were banned only relatively recently – in the era of Mao Zedong.


You May Also Like

Planet Earth

The grueling 996 work schedule, so named because it requires employees to work from 9am to 9pm, six days a week, has persisted at...


The new appointment to the post of Minister of Defense of the People’s Republic of China is truly epoch-making. For the first time in the...

Fact or fiction

Many holy elders spoke in their prophecies about a whole series of upcoming wars. Some of them warned that another world conflict could flare up...

Planet Earth

An increase in unusual cases of respiratory illnesses among children, including pneumonia, has been reported in China. Is the world facing a new epidemic like...


World auditors, studying the global market in conditions of financial and political turbulence, revealed an interesting fact. China (already in the top 3 buyers of...

Science & Technology

In November 2018, a unique scientific event took place, which resulted in the birth of the first people with altered DNA. The Chinese geneticist He Jiankui was...

Apocalypse & Armageddon

Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State and diplomacy “guru” considers the military conflict between the US and China due to Taiwan very...


The “Global Civilization Initiative” announced by Beijing on March 15 no longer seems naive, superficial or ridiculous and The Economist was the first to...