PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Now durian-lovers can "enjoy" the king of fruits even in the netherworld.
One of the latest paper offerings for the Qing Ming festival (Chinese All Souls Day or Tomb-Sweeping Day) this year is a tray of tropical fruits that include the Musang King durian variety, rambutan, mangosteen and guava.
Ms Angeli Choo, 51, the owner of the Eng Ong Heong trading shop in Penang said people began buying the items for their ancestors since two weeks ago.
She said the inspiration behind the new design for the paper offerings was the thorny fruit's popularity in Penang.
"Our artists who designed the tropical fruits paper offerings could have been inspired by the demand of durians here in Penang. So many people love durians," she said.
Other popular items this year are backpacks, Baba Nyonya traditional costumes and skincare kits.
"Among the latest products this year is the 'branded' life-size backpack. As for the Baba Nyonya costumes, they are more sophisticated and have 'pearl' buttons on them," Ms Choo told The Star at her shop in Burmah Road in George Town.
Over at Eng Chin Heong in Kimberley Street, fully furnished yachts and bungalows are among the most sought after items.
Shopowner Ang Siew Siew, 46, said each "bungalow" comes with "air-conditioning unit, LED lights, swimming pool, luxury cars, a servant, a driver, a pet dog and a garden with tea table".
Due to the hot weather, many people were also looking for "fans" to be offered to their departed ones.
"We have two types of 'table fans' available, the axial type and the regular one," Ms Ang added.
Qing Ming is a tradition that has been observed for more than 2,500 years, where families gather to pay respect and homage to their departed loved ones at the cemetery.
The festival is observed 10 days before or after the actual day, which falls on April 5 this year.