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Chinese Practises: What is Kong Teck (Gong De ) or Funeral Memorial held on the 49 day of the deceased death

Cecil Lee

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Dear Users,

I received numerous emails to explain the significance of Kong Teck.

Chinese Practises: What is " Kong Teck (Gong De) 1998300369_gongde.png.44352497ccc8a5bcc001818c3760c140.png  功德 Funeral Memorial ?

1. It is a ritual that is said to benefit the deceased.

2. Traditionally, the ideal situation is that a person passed away peacefully (or quietly) without any pain. (Not caused by a fatal accident or painful death).

3. Here, it is said that the guards from Hell, are considered gentle guards who come quietly to bring the person (his soul) away - leaving him dead.

52F9278A-7C74-4DF0-8A1E-0C7DAC594CAE.thumb.jpeg.34b0d34f6d977d66e49734449cf22cd3.jpeg4. Kong Teck, is a Hokkien term.

4.1 In Mandarin, this is known as 功德 " Gong De ". This ritual is to help the decease to prepare for his next phase of life.

Made of paper and bamboo strips tied with strings.. pretty large sized...

5. Therefore, family or relatives spent huge sums of money on this ritual.

1758172614_burningfuneralitems.jpg.503867c14fbbf55de18f1fac7bcecdbd.jpg6. This ritual is held on the 49th day (or roughly considered as 7 weeks - actual count it as on the 49 days) after the deceased passed away.

402519533_goldingots.jpg.d15edcab03694a1de1fed533b21e1183.jpg6.1 It is mainly the burning of paper replicas of items such as:

[1.] beautiful (elaborate) paper home/palace.
]2.] burnable car such as a mercedes benz (this car is built from bamboo strips and covered with coloured paper and cuttings)

A full paper house hidden behind a power supply box unit...


1335721763_fiftybilliondollars.jpg.f1dc6e05998ed68bbe830b767abd73ec.jpg6.2 And they really look like a car. Besides this, `hell money' or `hell notes' are also burnt.

6.3 These are printed paper money (no value) and these are also burnt.

6.4 The purpose of the burning is to `sent' it "up" to the dead so that he/she can use the new home, car, money (during their after-life.).

Family members folding gold ingots for later... burning... as offerings to the deceased:-


When folded, the each resembles a Chinese ancient ingot:


7. The hope is also to give the dead (deceased) a smooth journey without `sickness'. In addition, "silver" and "gold" (paper) notes; known as "Jin Zhi" (silver notes) and "Yin Zhi" (gold notes) respectively.

8. Thus Kong Teck is to bring auspiciousness to the deceased.

Below: In modern times... some family members do not bother to fold the gold ingots. But merely buying in bulk.. thus stacking chunks of them into a burning container...


9. During the ceremony, held on the 49 day, where possible, high ranking monks or taoist priests were hired on that day to chant mantras etc..

9.1 These monks or priests are (considered) as " lawyers " to "plead" the deceased case to the Hell Judge or King of Hell known as 阎罗王 (yan luo wang) - Yama, King of Hell

10. Thus for those who attend this ceremony or visit this ceremony on the 49th day, one has to be `pleasant, happy and peaceful' and must not tell the decease (in their hearts) that he/she was ill.

11. In the past, I had posted some pictures (under the Picture Resources site) with some of the beautiful "paper houses", lanterns that are meant to be burnt during this 49th day or Kong Teck.

Warmest Regards,
Cecil Lee

P.S. There was once a shophouse located at Joo Chiat building scale models of funeral memorials such as pretty large: mansion houses, cars and even boats for the deceased...

The former shop (Circled in red) used to be here:-


Now, shop no more - permanently closed.

Nowadays, the funeral memorials shrank.. and found in most Chinese shops selling incense materials. Where one can find everything from clothings, shoes, rolex watches, iphones, tablets etc.. etc...

Related to burning memorial...

Would you believe there was most likely a constructiion boss who got all this foreign workers to help burn all the offerings for him. Perhaps.. he is applying the art of Tai-chi or delegation, here...



Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net
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  • 16 years later...
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On 4/20/2018 at 9:52 PM, Bee Pooh said:

Dear Cecil

On the 49 days, can the monk chant Di Zhang Huang Pusa mantra at the ancestral tablet at home.  

Yes as mentioned in the original thread under Para 9. During the ceremony, held on the 49 day, where possible, high ranking monks or taoist priests were hired on that day to chant mantras etc..

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net
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