These notes are predominately associated with China, though they are found in other Asian cultures where ancestor worship is common. Thre is an endless variation of types of Hell Money, and they are all burned in religious activities in an effort to send money to the dearly departed. While predominately called Hell Notes, there are some that are printed as Heaven Notes. It is important to understand that in this realm, Hell is not thought of in the western connotation, but is rather a borrowed catch-all phrase for the afterlife. In addition to banknotes, paper creations of TV's Cars, Houses, etc., are also offered up in an effort to maintain an easy life for loved ones who've passed on.
Hell Notes are crudely printed on Joss Paper, which is similar to newsprint, but typically made from bamboo or rice paper. Most versions of Hell money depict the Jade Emperor, who is the supreme ruler of all the Heavens Underworld, Earth and Universe and presides over the Imperial Court.
Perhaps you can't take it with you, but you just might be able to send it along!
This first note depicts three images of the Jade Emperor, one at left, and two at right.
The following version is a knockoff of the U.S. 100 Dollar Bill with some obvious differences, including the Vietmnamese text on the reverse, the denomination is increased to $1000 and a Bar Code on the reverse. Copies of other countries money are commonly used as a base for hell Money designs.
A common simple style of Hell Note.
Here is a larger note with the Jade emperor and the Eight Immortals. These mythological charachters represent the Male and Female, the Young and Old, the Rich and Poor, The Noble and Humble. Their talismans aid them in their adventures to help those in need and encourage good behavior.