Taipei, Families of 27 deceased residents participated in a sea burial ritual held by the Taipei City government Thursday, during which they took a boat and scattered the ashes of their loved ones in waters off northern Taiwan.
It was the first joint sea burial ceremony held by the city this year, and eight more ceremonies are scheduled for the year, according to Taipei's Department of Civil Affairs.
A member of one of the families, surnamed Chou, said he followed his father's wishes to scatter his ashes at sea and expressed hope that his father will rest in peace.
Lan Shih-tsung (???), commissioner of the Department of Civil Affairs, said that Taipei began its more environmentally friendly sea burial option in 2003. As of 2016, families of 614 dead have chosen to scatter the ashes of their loved ones at sea, he added.
The sea burial ceremony is free of charge and is open to residents from all cities and counties, as well as foreigners, the department said.
In an effort to encourage people to deal with death in a more environmentally friendly way, Taipei has been promoting green burials, including burying the ashes of their loved ones under a tree at a designated area or scattering their ashes at sea.
Green burials offer a sustainable, natural alternative to conventional interment, without concrete vaults and fancy gravestones, and do not take up precious land.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel