What is DingKouQian? Why do you want to put DingKouQian? Is this a Taoism practice?

This does not originate from Taoism. DingKouQian or KouHan is one of the ancient customs of Chinese funerals. DingKouQian refers to the coin that was put into the mouth of the deceased.

In the olden days, rice was put into the mouth of the deceased instead of coins. There are two ways of saying why they put rice:

  1. to prevent the deceased from talking too much when they go to the underworld, so to avoid causing any trouble;
  2. do not want deceased to be a hungry ghost. They believed that the journey to “HuangQuan” was far away, hence deceased will not feel hungry with the rice in its mouth.

Over time, rice was gradually replaced by other items. The wealthy families replaced them with pearls or gold; while the less wealthy families replaced them with copper coins.

Today, copper coins or pearls have been replaced by a ten-cent coin as DingKouQian. This custom also symbolizes the peace and worry-free of the dead and be wealthy in the afterlife.



在古老的时代,被放入亡者口中的并非钱币,而是白饭。为何要含饭 (也称为口含)?以下有两种说法;

  1. 为了让亡者到地府时不要话太多,以免祸从口出;
  2. 不想让亡者当上饿鬼,古人认为去黃泉的路途遥远,口含白饭便不会令亡者感到饥饿。