updated 4/1/2008 3:27:48 PM ET 2008-04-01T19:27:48

The dead need lingerie too — at least that's what some people think.

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Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia have bought huge quantities of mock bras and panties, some with leopard prints, to burn as offerings for the deceased during the Qing Ming festival Friday, The Star newspaper reported.

It is customary among the Chinese to burn fake money and small-scale or life-size models of material goods such as refrigerators, cars, clothes and shoes during the festival. The Chinese believe their ancestors will receive these items for use in the afterlife.

Offerings of clothes have generally been limited to outerwear, and the lingerie trend appears to be new.

"Most customers find them cute and would usually add a few sets (of underwear) to go with other paper clothing ... for their female family members to use in the other world," Tay Lay Nah, a shop owner in the northern Penang island, was quoted as saying.

Tay said many underwear items made of cardboard have been sold out.

Ethnic Chinese make up a quarter of Malaysia's 27 million people.

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