A Ritual for Candor

In a temple in Taiwan, we joined family members and burned ghost money (symbolic paper money) to send prosperity to ancestors. The shared act opened the door to candid conversations about death, grief, and the funerals of loved ones. On the flip side, this ritual is so popular in Taiwan that it contributes to significant air pollution. While an uncle faithfully burned several stacks of “cash,” an aunt suggested we modernize and write one “check.”

Yangmei, Taiwan