HARBIN – Authorities in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, have tightened control over the burning of paper money as a traditional festival approaches.

Harbin authorities will enhance supervision on manufacturers that produce and process funeral products, and those who illegally produce and process the products will face punishment.

Related personnel will receive punishment if the districts they are in charge of witness a lot of people burning paper money.

Harbin authorities have in recent years launched crackdowns on the illegal production and sale of paper money because of environmental concerns. Meanwhile, local authorities have encouraged the use of flowers and ribbons instead of burning paper money.

Burning paper money is a traditional way of paying tribute to the deceased in China on Zhongyuan Festival, or the Hungry Ghost Festival, which falls on Thursday. The festival falls on the 15th day of July according to the lunar month and is a day for people to pay their respects to the deceased by offering sacrifices.