Chinese counties ban birthday parties in search of spartanness

Couple hugs during a feast at a Chinese wedding

Weddings are considered an important indicator of their social status in Chinese culture

A county in southwestern China has banned birthday parties and other celebrations after being asked by the central government to be more modest.

It also has new rules for weddings and funerals, including a ban on cash gifts in excess of £ 200 (£ 22 and $ 31).

The rules of Phu Ninh County apply only to all Communist Party members, civil servants, leaders of village organizations, and not to most residents.

Giving cash at parties is a traditional Chinese custom.

However, it is also used as a bribe for influential hosts.

This is not the first time the Communist Party has cracked down on party members. In 2015, luxury food and drink, golf club participation, and private club admission were banned as part of anti-corruption efforts.

However, China has generally blamed “luxury and waste” for years and called on citizens to hold more “simple and moderate” weddings.

According to a new directive issued last week, parties celebrating occasions such as birthdays, promotions, or warming homes will be banned from this month.

There are also very specific rules that must be followed.

For example, a Yunnan county civil servant must report the wedding details (such as costs and guest list) to the local government in advance.

He added that the number of wedding banquet tables should not exceed 20 and the overall guest list is capped at 200.

If the banquet is held in a restaurant, the cost to each guest is 50 yuan or less, and if it is held at home, the total table must be 300 yuan or less.

The number of cars for the wedding procession should also be kept below 10.

Weddings and funerals are regarded as important indicators of one’s social status in Chinese culture, and there is a social expectation of doing extravagant and elaborate things, especially for those in power such as village leaders. Sometimes there is.

A typical wedding banquet can be seen attended by hundreds of guests, which are usually for guests to bring financial gifts.

In small villages, weddings and funerals can last for days and include large processions.

Similarly, new rules have been set for funerals. In China, it is a tradition to give “money of condolence” to a family member who is sad.

Funerals cannot be held for more than 3 days and event details must be submitted to the government within 10 days of the event.

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