News

Unhappy valley

Happy Valley in Hong Kong has seen plenty of deaths in its time, including a fire in the racecourse situated there in February 1918, when at least 590 people died. It is also where six of Hong Kong’s cemeteries are; the oldest graves date from 1845 and the older they are, the lower down the steep hillsides that surround the valley.

The cemeteries are now full up and the government reckons there are about 200,000 individual ash collections awaiting interment. Individual spaces in a cemetery can cost more than £200,000. Around 46,000 people die each year in Hong Kong. Chinese tradition insists that burial is important to a family’s fortunes.

Photo credit: Wellcome Images