Satan's own bankers: Chinese Hell money
June 26, 2013 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Satan's own bankers: Chinese Hell money
Just because you’re dead, that’s no reason to give up life’s little comforts. PlanetSlade’s latest essay looks at the Chinese custom of burning special Bank of Hell currency - and paper replicas of every consumer luxury imaginable - to equip departed loved ones in the afterlife. By burning these items at funerals or beside the grave, Chinese families hope to “transmit” both spending power and treats to their late relatives. Among the items delivered in this way are banknotes for $1bn or more, luxury items like paper iPads, six-packs of beer and even paper condoms and replica Viagra tablets. The essay has lots of scans of Hell notes from my own collection, plus photographs of paper clothing, jewellery, cigarettes and telephones on sale in America and Thailand. Finally, banknote dealer Joel Anderson relates the tale of the Indian couple still hoping to find a Bank of Hell branch where their own $1bn banknote can be cashed.
Role: Writer & publisher
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