China is encouraging people to pay respects to the martyrs of the Communist revolution on a new website set up ahead of a traditional holiday to remember the dead, state media said on Thursday.

The online memorial ( has been launched by the Communist Party's Central Civilisation Office, and allows Chinese to show their respects for those who died in the revolution, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Chinese traditionally pay respects to their ancestors on Tomb-Sweeping Day, which this year falls on Saturday.

The government only recently made Tomb-Sweeping day a national holiday, as it was once among many folk customs condemned by the Communists as old-fashioned and feudalistic.

But the Party has begun reviving some old practices as it seeks to make traditional virtues an anchor of order and stability during times of social change.

The new website had received more than 500,000 hits already, with many of them posting comments, the report said.

The national martyrs sacrificed their lives for our happy life, it quoted student Chen Binpeng as saying in a posting on the site.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)