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Sunday April 1, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday May 26, 2013 MYT 12:32:39 AM
by lim wey wen
SEMENYIH: As the number of people treating their pets as family members increases, the Qing Ming Festival has become a time to remember the dead pets, too.
The festival, which falls on April 4 this year, is also called the Chinese All Souls Day and families visit their relatives' graves and columbariums to perform prayers and pay their respects.
Since the Nirvana Pet Memorial Garden in Semenyih opened five years ago, it has become common for people to visit the graves of their dearly departed pets after paying their respects to their relatives and ancestors.
“We have had customers visiting their pets after offering prayers for their family members,” said NV Alliance Sdn Bhd general manager Reeno Kong, whose Shih Tzu Fiffy is buried in the pet cemetery.
He expects some of the pet owners to visit the cemetery this weekend as the rituals for the Qing Ming Festival can be performed 10 days before the actual day.
While he does not perform similar prayers for Fiffy as he does for his relatives, Kong said some visitors even burned paper replicas for their pets.
“Most use the same type of paper replicas they burn for their departed relatives because there are still not many who want to buy replicas made specifically for their pets,” Kong added.
He said about 40 to 50 pets were buried in the pet cemetery and most of them were dogs.
“However, many pet owners have bought burial plots and our first phase of the cemetery, of about 300 lots, have already been sold out,” he said.
He added that the price of a lot was about RM4,800 and the package came with burial services.
Since there have also been requests for pet cremation, Kong said his company was studying the possibility of building a columbarium at the pet cemetery.
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