UK media The Guardian features joss paper in photo of dumpling dish for Lunar New Year

Not so auspicious.

Jean Chien Tay | January 17, 2022, 02:37 PM

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A photo featuring a plate of dumplings published by The Guardian has caught the attention of Twitter users for the wrong reasons.

Screenshot via The Guardian

In the recipe for pork and crab dumplings with spicy sour sauce, a sheet of "longevity joss paper" can be seen placed next to the plate of dumplings.

"Longevity joss papers". Image via

Joss papers are commonly burned as offerings to the deceased in Chinese communities, and the "longevity joss paper" that symbolises wisdom, prosperity, and a smooth-sailing life may be used in prayers to gods and spirits.

A London-based reporter Vivienne Chow took to Twitter to say she was "stunned" to see a Lunar New Year dish paired with joss paper, "which equals to hell money you burn for the dead".

Chow also said that death is not something that's talked about in the New Year.

She added that The Guardian could "DM" (direct message) her if they were "unsure".

Ancient Chinese coins

Additionally, Chow took issue with the ancient Chinese coins that were also featured in the same photo, saying they reminded her of "a sword made to kill vampires (and) zombies".

To prove her point, she posted a picture of a classic Hong Kong movie about a vampire-fighting priest -- "Vampire vs Vampire".

In the movie, the priest's arsenal includes a sword made of ancient Chinese coins.

Ancient Chinese coins -- on their own, and not in the arrangement of a sword -- however, are considered by some to be symbols of good luck, and are even used as decorations at home by those who believe in feng shui.

Recipe on BBC featured envelope given out at funerals

Meanwhile, a commenter spotted that a recipe featured on the BBC showed an envelope that is usually given out to attendees at Chinese funerals.

Chow pointed out that the envelope is handed out to those who pay tribute to the deceased at funerals, and usually contains a coin and a candy.

Envelope given out to attendees at funerals. Image via

She shared her personal experience where she was told to spend the money as soon as possible and eat the candy immediately.

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Top image via & screenshot from The Guardian