In February 2016, Zhang Deyang, a 66-year-old man, staged his own funeral in Rizhao, China, to see how many mourners would show up.
“I organized this ceremony because I wanted to separate which people in my life truly cared about me and which ones were fake,” Deyang told Qilu, a Chinese website.
Deyang never married or had children, but did good works that didn't garner much attention in his community, Netease reports.
"He needed proof of his existence," according to Netease, which led him to fake his own funeral.
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In China, families are expected to organize funerals, visit graves regularly and burn incense and money for funds the deceased is supposed to spend in the afterlife, notes The Telegraph.
Deyang spent about $2,500 for the fake ceremony, which drew about 40 friends and relatives and several hundred spectators.
The senior wore traditional Chinese burial clothes, pretended to crawl into a grave and greeted mourners who bowed at his feet, noted the South China Morning Post.
Deyang also pretended to marry a woman because it is considered bad luck to die without having a spouse in Chinese culture.
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About 20 relatives and friends who were invited did not show up for the mock ceremony.
“I can’t believe so many relatives and friends don’t care about me," Deyang told Qilu. "It still weighs heavy on my heart."