The telecommuting, online education, and telemedicine sectors have witnessed substantial growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside these trends, online ancestral rites are also gaining popularity.
Leading up to Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving holiday, memorial parks across the nation saw a surge in visitors paying their respects to the deceased. The scenes of online and metaverse gravesites and worship that emerged during the COVID-19 crisis are now familiar to many.
The eHaneul online memorial service, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Funeral Culture Promotion Agency, made its debut during Chuseok in 2020. It was introduced to facilitate non-face-to-face burials during the pandemic and has continued to gain traction even after social distancing measures were relaxed.
These online memorials allow users to post tributes, photos, audio, and videos, and offer flowers, incense, and candles in a virtual setting.
In 2021, a significant number of people embraced online memorials, with 248,732 participants during the Lunar New Year holiday and 307,700 during Chuseok, followed by 285,445 during last year’s Lunar New Year holiday and 218,249 during Chuseok, and 195,51 during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday.
Source: Korea Bizwire