The seventh lunar month is round the corner -- from July 29 to Aug. 26 -- and it appears that your ancestors could also be impacted by the recent inflation experienced by the living.
But it is clearly the living who have to bear the higher costs directly first.
Reasons for more costly joss paper offerings
Shin Min Daily News reported that the cost of joss paper will increase by 10 to 15 per cent in Singapore in 2022.
The owner of a religious goods shop, Ban Kah Hiang Trading, said shipping costs have doubled.
The costs will be passed on to customers who buy joss paper offerings.
And who would have thought a war fought in the northern hemisphere now will have far-reaching repercussions even for those who are no longer occupying the physical realm.
Candle and lamp oil prices have also risen in tandem with the recent surge in oil prices, as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
These items have had a price increase of between 15 and 20 per cent recently, it was reported.
Increase in prices, but demand will be strong
The owner of Chye Seng Joss Papers & Joss Sticks, another proprietor, also said the overall cost of joss paper items has increased between 15 and 20 per cent.
However, since Covid-19 restrictions have eased, industry players believe more will be participating in this year's festival, Malaysia’s Oriental Daily reported.
Another joss offering items proprietor estimated that demand will increase between 30 and 40 per cent.
Customers have feedback to the Ban Kah Hiang Trading owner that they have not properly worshipped during the seventh month for two years, and are looking to make up for it.
Why burn joss paper
Burning joss paper, known as “ghost money”, during the seventh lunar month, is based on the folk belief in China that the deceased will receive paper money burnt for them and they benefit from a happy and prosperous afterlife.
The Chinese press did not report if more paper offerings have to be burned to account for inflationary pressures in the afterlife, if any.
Top photo via Shin Min Daily News