Every human culture performs rituals and traditions when bidding farewell to a deceased loved one.
These traditions which are shaped from culture and customs depicts how we remember and honour our loved ones who have passed away.
In this article, we would delve into several unique traditions of different countries, from the typical jazz celebration of a person’s life to the solemn atmosphere of mourning the dead.
South Korean burial beads
Did you know that in Korea, the remains of the dead after cremation are compressed into beautiful beads with a variety of colours ranging from shiny blue-green, pink to black?
This practice started in the year 2000 after a bill was passed into law requesting the removal of the bodies from the grave after 60 years. This eventually led to a rise in cremation rates in Korea.
But instead of scattering the ash or keeping it in urns, it was made into beads usually displayed in dishes made of glass as a way of honouring and keeping the deceased close.
Green burials of the Jewish people and Native Americans
Another peculiar funeral tradition is the green burials practiced by the Native Americans and the Jews. Here woven-willow caskets which are environmentally friendly are used.
The theme is to go all green, protecting mother nature and all it contains therefore the call for biodegradable shrouds and urns.
Ghana’s fantasy coffin
Ghana’s fantasy coffin is an atypical tradition that is gaining popularity as of recent.
Here deceased loved ones are buried in coffins that represent their line of work or something they held dearly.
Catch up with the dead
Also called the turning of the bones, is a queerish funeral tradition but practiced still by the Malagasy people of Madagascar.
Every five to six years, bodies of loved ones are brought out of crypts. It is then wrapped in new cloth, sprayed with perfume and even danced with.
The sole purpose of this is to share long held stories and also to ask for blessings.
New Orleans jazz funeral
New Orleans, reputed as a place of culture, performs their funerals with jazz dirges. Here the streets are usually filled with people who all come out to honour the dead.