冥婚 - míng hūn - ghost wedding; literally "spirit marriage"
Illegal trade in 'corpse brides' surges in China
Chinese villagers are willing to pay as much as $26,000 for female corpses they can bury with dead unmarried male relatives.
The practice of "ghost marriages," where Chinese pay their respects to the deceased with a gift of a "bride" in the afterlife, persists in rural areas despite the exorbitant costs to families.
The Chinese Communist Party banned the practice in 1949, but in recent years the tradition has returned, and with it a surge in "corpse bride"-related crimes and tomb raids, the South China Morning Postand Xinhua reported.
Trade continues because criminals can make a fortune in finding and selling dead bodies, sometimes by murder, according to the report.
In 2015, a man was arrestedin Liangcheng County, Inner Mongolia, for killing a woman so that he could profit from the sale of her body to a family seeking a corpse bride.
Most of the trade in corpses takes place in north China.
In Hongtong County in Shanxi Province, 27 female bodies were reported stolen since 2013.
But more bodies could be missing because of underreporting, according to the Post.
Families who elect to purchase a corpse bride for burial are also not safe from theft.
Zhang Gainong, a Hongtong County resident who paid $26,145 for a young girl's body, said he has to check his dead son's tomb to make sure tomb raiders have not stolen the body to be resold.
Going with a dummy body is not an option in some villages, where elders tell families that such a practice would "set a bad example" for children, said another resident.
In April 2016, three men were arrested in the slaying of two women with mental disabilities.
Police in northwest China said one of the men wanted to sell the bodies for "ghost weddings."
You can click the READ MORE button to study survival mandarin
ShopWire and Shop在线 :
A convenient way for foreigners and Chinese people to buyreal foreign imported products while living in China. Sign up by scanning the qr code below to get started, and stay with ShopWire as we expand our product line. You can use either WeChat wallet or Paypal to purchase our products! Sign up for ShopWire for English service and Shop在线 for Chinese service.
Scan the QR code, search for Shop在线 or visit to use our Chinese service.