It was sometimes overwhelming to see the

Guangzhou by night
Guangzhou by night (Photo credit: micmac9a)

It was sometimes overwhelming to see the crowds of people on the streets, knowing that very few of them knew Jesus. The most prominent religion in southern China, apart from atheism, is ancestor worship, a sect of Buddhism. There is often the eerie fragrance of incense being burned in various sorts of Buddhist practices of ancestor worship. Many people there claim to worship the ghosts of their ancestors. I often saw oranges, apples and other food that had placed in a bowl in front of a small statute with four incense sticks nearby. This is food offered to the spirits of ancestors.
The pink, yellow, green, or gray houses in Canton are very small and crowded together. The furniture is simple, usually made of wood. The bedroom has a bed and mosquito net shaped like a rectangular box. The walls, floor, and ceiling are cement, but the floors are often tiled with colorful square ceramic tiles.
Canton, like most Chinese cities, is a series of thousands of walled areas. Every school, apartment complex and factory are surrounded by thick cement walls which are often studded with broken glass at the top of the wall to discourage thieves. The old buildings are enchanting as they combine a mixture of modern international styles and traditional Chinese architecture with the four corners of the roof arching upwards.


  1. OK, you may be right, but i think there are both camps, some from that area told me it was to worship them, some to honor them. Anyway, thanks for the comment

  2. It is my understanding from friends who live and work in China, that these offerings are to honor the ancestors, not to worship them, much in the same way that we place wreaths or flowers at gravesites. Isn’t amazing to travel to places that really demonstrate how much wealth and how much importance we here in the west place on “stuff”.

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