Published January 13, 2015
China's ruling Communist Party is banning members from holding lavish funerals for their relatives as part of a drive against waste, corruption and pomp.
The ban was contained in a party circular issued Friday that also forbade members from using funerals to collect condolence money from attendees. Such gifts are intended to defray costs, but often serve instead as bribes for favors.
Lavish funerals are a way of asserting one's wealth and social status in China and often feature paid mourners, uniformed marching bands and motorcades of limousines.
China's president and party leader Xi Jinping has already issued a five-year moratorium on the construction of new government buildings and the use of public funds for lavish banquets and expensive gifts such as moon cakes.