Funeral customs from around the world
Different countries, cultures and religions have different versions of mourning. Ceremonies, traditions and mourning periods are recognised in very different ways each meaningful to those practicing the custom. Here we take a look at some of the most interesting customs from around the world.
The Malagasy tribe in Madagascar are known for their ‘Turning of the Bones’ ritual. This involves digging up their deceased every seven years or so and wrapping them in fresh cloth to speed up the decomposition process. This is believed to help the process of transitioning the spirits of the deceased to the afterlife. As part of the ritual there are celebrations with singing and dancing so that it is a commemorative and special occasion.
In Ghana, coffins are a primary focus in funeral rituals. Many people aspire to be buried in coffins which represent their work or something that they loved in life. These coffins are extravagant and built into shapes and often painted in bright colours. Some previous coffins that have been seen are ones shaped like planes, fish, and a bible.
In New Orleans some funerals are led by a Jazz procession. They are loud and focus on both grief and celebration. The processions usually start with slow mournful music played by a marching band as family and friends follow on. Once the loved one is buried or cremated the band will play more upbeat celebratory music to commemorate their life and family and friends will enjoy a procession and event of music and dancing.
In South Korea, there is a law which means anyone buried in a grave has to be removed after 60 years because of a lack of land and grave space. The passing of this law means that cremation has gained popularity, though many don’t simply store ashes in urns, a popular new tradition is to have the remains made into decorative beads which can be created in different colours and are then normally displayed in the house, in a glass box for example.
Whatever funeral traditions you follow, it will always reflect you personally and pay tribute to your life. If you have a funeral plan in place you can be sure that your wishes will be fulfilled and that you will have taken the worry and pressures off of your loved ones.