A Chinese mother whose son was beaten to death by bullies has married him off to a 'ghost bride' during a burial ceremony. Tian Xuejuan, whose son died in April aged 15, said she didn't want him 'to be lonely in the after life', so she decided to arrange the ghost marriage according to local traditions. She said her son and his ghost bride were a good match because the girl died around three years ago at the age of 16, according to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily.
The special burial ceremony, which cost around 100,000 Yuan (£10,580), was held on May 6 by Tian and her family at their home village at Jiang county in Shanxi Province.
Tian's son, Zhang Chaofan, was buried together with his bride in a tomb several hundred feet from his home. One day before the burial ceremony, Zhang's family had followed the local customs to pick up the bride's memorial tablet from her home in nearby Yuncheng city to be ready for the after life wedding.
Tian's family had made a wedding photo by putting portraits of the two teenagers together. The photo was then put on the altar during the burial ceremony while the couple were being buried. Tian Xuejuan told local media: 'My son was only 15 years old. I don't want him to be alone in the afterlife, so I have followed the traditions here and hoped to set up a ghost marriage. I hope to do everything at once, this way, I won't keep worrying about him. I will feel more at ease.'
The unusual wedding was hosted by an official of the village, according to the report. The official, surnamed Hao, said this was the first time he had led a ghost wedding. He explained that the ceremony comprised several steps, including firing homemade cannons, lighting candles and incense, burning paper and burying the couple. Hao said because the couple were young, the process had been simplified and lasted less than 10 minutes.
Tian's son Zhang Chaofan died on April 23 after being brutally beaten by a gang of teenage thugs all aged between 15 and 16 at an internet cafe in Jiang county. All six suspects had been detained by the local police.