This can take many lifetimes, and with each death they strive to move closer to Brahma, the Hindu God. A Memorial Bench for Bereavement Rituals. I was driving past one such reminder when it hit me, I could go to where my miscarriage had begun, to perform acts of remembrance. Photos by NH53 and Henry Zo Rakotondramanana via Flickr Every few years, the Malagasy people of Madagascar conduct a sacred ritual called Famadihana, or the Turning of the Bones. Each region in Japan has a different variation of the Bon Odori dance, with different moves and ways of performing it. Generally believed to be a way of physically connecting with those who recently have passed. A Chinese woman burns Joss paper and Joss paper in the shape of designer clothes. Hindu worshippers gather on the riverbanks to bathe before Shraddha. Photos by NH53 and Henry Zo Rakotondramanana via Flickr. The death rituals people of the Jewish faith observe when someone passes are deeply steeped in custom and hold significant meaning, although the actual execution of the ritual may vary depending on the customs followed by the family. However, elaborate paper offerings are still made and sold. After loved ones pay their respect (without touching), the body is sent to be eaten by vultures. In part, as a reminder to take a corner slowly or call a cab when out drinking. Dane June 27th, 2011 at 3:58 PM . Communities often refer to the person who has died by a substitute name, such as ‘Kumanjayi’, ‘Kwementyaye’ or ‘Kunmanara’. #News & Events In modern civilization, the death ritual usually involves a dead body being displayed for the friends and relatives to pay their respects. Photo by Biswarup Ganguly via Wikimedia. The monks would die in a state of meditation, and their body would be naturally preserved as a mummy with skin and teeth intact without decay. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Those present should chant mantras or play a recording of mantras being chanted. The body is traditionally placed atop a platform and covered in leaves as it is left to decompose. Ananda Homa — for inviting a return to joyous living and severance with death and mourning. As the body decomposed, the liquid was often rubbed onto the children of the community, an act which was believed to pass on the person positive qualities and attributes. Creating Rituals to Help Process Death . Often, we wonder why Hindus burn or cremate the body, instead of burying it. [Image via Imgur]The last remnant of the Bo people in Luobiao, Xuanguan in Southwest China are the wooden coffins suspended on a cliff. The Yanomami tribe for example, who live in the Amazon rainforest, believe that by consuming the ashes of a deceased tribe member will keep their spirit alive and well for generations to come. A small amount of water from the Ganges River should be placed in the dying person’s mouth. The ritual can involve chanting, reciting the names of ancestors and praying to the Hindu gods. Photo by Guilhem Vellut via Flickr. Why would you take an artistic and expensive box and the person’s best clothes and bury it? Some death rituals are practicalities. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. The viewing. But, even then, they got beaten by the Jains, who have quite a painful and shocking Rituals in India. Before Shraddha, participants take a purifying bath, often in a river or the sea. The tau-tau of all departed community members are placed on balconies, where they stand watch protectively over the communal tomb. In most Hindu families, the body is bathed immediately after death, sometimes by women in the family. Some don’t simply accept that someone has lived and died, but their life is truly celebrated. Here we look at the unique and fascinating funeral rituals from eight countries, which bring comfort to the bereaved as they lay their loved ones to rest. This may be under the direction of a king or soothsayer. First, a smoking ceremony is held in the loved one’s living area to drive away their spirit. 2. If it was a man and he used to shave, you can see this from the facial hair. Although it is outlawed today, older members of the tribe still show signs of this brutal practice. Photos by Sergey via Flickr and Michael Gunther via Wikimedia. The Jain saints and monks practice the ritual of going bald by plucking the hair out. Within some indigenous groups, there is a strong tradition of not speaking the name of a dead person. [Image via Collections Canada]Totem poles are iconic Native American statues, but there is more meaning behind them in than beautiful decoration. [Image via Crowded Planet]Famadihana, also known as ‘turning the bones’ is still practiced by the Malagasy people of Madagascar. When ready, the perspective mummy would enter a stone room, meditate, and slowly reduce then stop all liquid intake, thus dehydrating the body and shrinking all organs. Method according to the Scriptures. The festival is seen as a way of celebrating their loved ones and demonstrating the importance of kinship even after death. For the same reason, embalming is rare and unnecessary. Instead of a widow, it was a slave of the nobleman who joined him in the afterlife. Native American beliefs are deeply rooted in their cultures and histories, and in the past spirituality would have been an integral part of daily life.As previously mentio… These rituals are largely based on events from the Hebrew Bible. Every culture and religious organization has its own way of interpreting death. When death seems imminent, the body should, if possible, be transferred to a grass mat on the floor. You have lost a loved one, and this is where creating a new normal, new routine, new ritual can help you through the process. [Image via Cbc]In the Tibetan Buddhist culture, corpses are seen as no more than an empty vessel. When a loved one dies in Aboriginal society in Australia’s Northern Territory, elaborate rituals begin. Find out more about religious funeral traditions. Is This The Most Sinister Ghost Picture Ever Taken? Shocking Cases of People Who Were Mistakenly Declared Dead, 8 Morticians Share Their Spookiest and Most Disturbing Experiences, 5 Macabre Cases of People Discovered Years After they Died, 9 Strangest Victorian Deaths Reported in the Newspapers. From eating the flesh to grinding bones, in New Guinea, Brazil, Australia, and other locations throughout the world people have taken part in ritualistic cannibalism. Many Buddhists prioritize the living over the dead, and thus decide to have their bodies eaten by wildlife. Made from bamboo or rice paper, Joss paper is often made to look like money and is burnt in order to ‘give’ the money to the souls of those who have died. Ensuring that she would serve her master in the afterlife as faithfully as she had in life. Malagasy people walk to the cemetery to exhume their loved ones for Famadihana. Mongolian culture is … It is carried by mourners as part of the procession and burned along with the Waddhu. Photo by William Cho via Flickr. This is a short video describing why we do rituals when someone dies . What makes a ritual so effective? Before smoking, the guts and drippings from the corpse are collected and smeared onto the skin of relatives. Ceremonies can last for days and even weeks. The bereaved can choose many different shapes and design for their loved one’s fantasy coffin, often reflecting the person’s profession or hobbies. This involves exhuming the graves of loved ones, washing and redressing their bodies, and throwing a huge party in their honor. The chosen slave was forced to have sex with every man in the village until she was eventually strangled, stabbed, and sent adrift with her master’s corpse on a flaming boat. Often the dancers will move in a circular pattern around the yagura, or sometimes the dance will form a procession, moving through the streets of the town. [Image via ]Many cultures see a relationship between physical and emotional pain, and the Dani people of West Papua, New Guinea take it to the extreme. After the smoking process is complete the brightly colored bodies are placed on the steep cliffs that overlook the nearby village so the dead can look down upon the living and protect the village below. It is also practical, given that the cold rocky ground makes burial difficult and there is a scarcity of trees to provide wood for burning. How the Historic Persecution of Witches Led to the Infamous Salem... Woman in White: 5 English Female Ghosts and the Legends Behind them, 5 Terrifying True-Life Cases of Serial Killers who Believed they were Vampires, 5 Infamous Haunted Horror Houses that Will Make Your Blood Run Cold, 6 Mysterious Creatures That Use Human Disguises, Mountain of Mystery: The Legend of the Lost Dutchman. Wooden scaffolds or stages are built in public places like town squares and parks. Sky burials are still practiced today, with over 80% of Tibetan Buddhists choosing this method of burial. Funeral rituals are different across the world, incorporating a fascinating variety of cultural views on death and dying, death rituals and religious beliefs. When the body is exhumed, the people wrap it in cloth and dance with it to live music, animals are sacrificed and the meat is distributed to various guests and members of the family. Turning all pictures to face the wall and covering all mirrors, windows and reflective surfaces so the dead can't view themselves. The food they offer includes rice balls, lentils, spring beans, lapsi (a kind of wheat porridge), and pumpkins. A ritual such as this is strange, but with dead bodies being one of the most common carriers of diseases, it’s easy to see how a civilization developed such a ritual and stigma around the dead. Worshippers believe that at the beginning of Pitru Paksha, the spirits of the ancestors leave the afterlife to return to the family home of their descendants. If this is not possib… Once someone dies, those two aspects are left behind. The act of self-mummification required that the monk remove all fat from their body. The Hindu festival of Pitru Paksha, also known as Pitri Paksha, is celebrated every year in India. Next a feast is held, with mourners painted ochre as they partake in food and dance. In this culture, decomposition is seen as a crucial step in entering the afterlife. According to ethnographer Caroline Humphrey, though, Mongolian death rituals for people are also complicated, influenced by Buddhist thinking and modern life. Buddhists in Tibet believe in the transmigration of the soul and therefore that once the person has died, the body is an empty vessel. In sky burials, the body is cut into pieces and placed in an exposed place where animals, such as vultures, can consume it. This involves exhuming the graves of loved ones, washing and redressing their bodies, and throwing a huge party in their honor. And though we don't often stop to think about it, there are specific rules of etiquette that apply and adhering to them is expected. [Image via Wikipedia] The Wife Burning Herself with Some of her Husband’s Property, etching 1799.Sati was a ritual practiced in India, in which a widowed Hindu woman laid with her deceased husband on his funeral pyre and was burned alive. The bereaved family will collect the horns of the buffalo and display them outside their home. According to Hindu death rituals, when a person dies, they remain at home before they are taken to the cremation venue. They were then be placed in totem poles and displayed in front of the deceased’s home to ward off evil spirits. Death is another circumstance that gives rise to some of the world’s strangest social rites. An Aboriginal Funeral, painted by Joseph Lycett in 1817. However, other forms of sati existed, including being buried alive with her husband’s corpse and drowning. When someone dies, their body is left exposed for a day. Rituals to be performed on the same day after cremation A. Every seven years or so, the community open their family crypts and exhume their ancestor’s bodies to hasten decomposition. The ashes from the cremation are scattered in the sea. They also believe that some rituals need to be performed for the soul to break the bond with the body, and start a new life elsewhere. Grave Matters: 5 Ghoulish Cases of Body-Snatching from the Victorian Era, Memento Mori: The Macabre Victorian Art of Death Photography, Buried Alive: 7 Shocking Cases of People Who Were Mistakenly Declared Dead, 15 Vintage Medical Illustrations That Reveal the Horrors of 19th-Century Surgery, Forewarned: 6 Bizarre Cases of People Who Predicted their Own Deaths, The 7 Strangest Graves and Burial Sites from Around the World, Sleeping Beauty: The Macabre Mummies of the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, 10 Funeral Home Workers Share their Most Macabre and Morbid Stories, 10 Little-Known Facts About Edgar Allan Poe, 7 Sinister True Ghost Stories To Read In The Dark. Photographs or depictions of a person who died may also be seen as a disturbance to their spirit. Although different groups have slightly different practices, there is a common set of Hindu funeral rites they all follow. Evidently, people have better things to do than sit in a church and time can be saved by paying your last respects from the driver’s seat of your car. The Kane Kwei Workshop in Accra and a leopard-shaped fantasy coffin. And some people, the way they grieve, commemorate, and dispose of dead varies greatly from culture to culture, but some traditions really take funerals to the next level of macabre. Torajan funerals are incredibly elaborate, notoriously expensive and can last days or even weeks. According to Hindu beliefs, when a person dies, his soul lingers around near the relatives, the body, and his materialistic possessions. The Yanomami have one of the strangest social rituals. This ritual is based on the Malagasy belief that the spirit does not depart this world until the body has fully rejoined the earth. After this, the bones were displayed in caves or around the family’s neck as a keepsake of the deceased. Removing the bed from the deceased person's bedroom 3. Midnight Hour: 7 Paranormal Games to Play in the Dark Tonight, 10 Short Creepypasta Horror Stories That Will Make You Shudder, 30 Scary Two Sentence Horror Stories To Read In The Dark, True Crime: The 10 Most Infamous American Murder Mysteries, Urban Legend: 25 People Share the Scariest Stories from their Hometowns, The Haunting Stories Behind Six Strange and Unusual Graves, Campfire Stories: 13 Terrifying Accounts of Paranormal Encounters in the Wilderness. Historians remain baffled as to why this ancient tribe felt that this was the best way to honor the dead, but the 160 caskets remaining (some coffins have fallen over the years) nailed high up on the cliffside mark the only reminder left by the Bo people, who were exterminated by the Ming Dynasty around 400 years ago. Ritual killings have always been performed in African cultures. This was used to protect against evil spirits, as well as to manifest emotional pain by way of physical pain. This brings about disintegration of … The Bon Odori dance is performed in towns and cities all over Japan during Obon, a three-day Buddhist festival held to honor departed ancestors. Known as a yagura, the stage is where singers and musicians perform traditional songs while members of the community gather to dance the Bon Odori. This is considered an act of generosity, allowing the living to benefit from the body once it is no longer needed. They are often made to look like the latest gadgets and trends, from smartphones, designer clothes and shoes, to bicycles, cameras and even kitchen appliances. But these mourning rituals are family and community events, nonetheless. Sadhguru: In India, if someone close to you dies, you are supposed to sit and watch – no one leaves a dead body alone. Rituals after death : Often, when the prān (vital energy) leaves the gross body, the mouth remains open, and through this open mouth, putrefying waves from the dead body spread into the environment. The funeral ritual, too, is a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone loved. It’s strange to think about, but the following death customs make our modern rituals seem mundane by comparison. [Image via ]The Zoroastrians have a peculiar, yet strangely sensible ritual surrounding the dead. [Image via ]An unusual modern-day funeral practice can be found in Los Angeles, CA. Religious acts presuppose some degree of impurity or defilement for the practitioner, which must be overcome or neutralized before or during ritual procedures. From offering bodies to vultures to self-mummification here are thirteen of the most unusual death rituals practiced around the world. The Yanomami, who live in the jungle areas of Venezuela and Brazil, perform a very curious ritual. In 2006, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs tried to ban ‘vulgar’ Joss paper offerings, such as luxury houses, sports cars, and even paper mistresses. The ceremony usually begins with the ritual slaughter of water buffaloes and pigs. Shanti Homa — a fire-ritual for peace of mind for the family and for the departed one. This is why some Aboriginal families will not have photographs of their loved ones after they die. It is seen as only fitting that the last act of a person is to nourish another living being. It’s strange to think about, but the following death customs make our modern rituals seem mundane … The closing of the eyes of the recently deceased in Britain is cited as being due simply to guard against rigor mortis setting in while they are still open, the eyelids being one of the first parts to be affected. It has been … When someone dies in an automobile crash, memorials are usually right where the tragedy occured. The workshops of leading lights including Paa Joe, Ataa Oko and Seth Kane Kwei remain open and active today. It is believed that doing so will disturb their spirit. Mourners build a Waddhu, also sometimes called a Bade, a ceremonial tower of multiple levels, made from bamboo, wood and paper. When a loved one dies, rituals and traditions can also help us mark a significant event and spend time remembering and finding healing. The Hindu religion teaches that when someone dies, the soul passes into another body. Joss paper in the form of fake money is sometimes called ghost money, spirit money or hell money. A funeral procession carrying an elaborate Torajan coffin and the tau-tau on their balconies. This ritual is based on t… #Tradition & Culture, A guide to Day of the Dead, including the history and meaning of Dia De Los Muertos, and information about Day of the Dead altars, decorations and food, and Day of the Dead festivals in America, A guide to death masks & funerary masks, with information on why & how they were made, & famous death masks & funerary masks, including the death masks of Tutankhamun, Aaron Burr and Napoleon Bonaparte, A guide to the burial sites of famous former presidents of the United States of America, including George Washington, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln & Calvin Coolidge, ©2021 All Rights Reserved Funeral Zone Ltd, Comprehensive listings to compare funeral directors near you, Things to do before you die – 10 special bucket list ideas, What to say when someone dies – words of sympathy. Ngaben processions are colourful, noisy and joyous.This lavish and expensive ritual is thought to guide the spirit into its next life and is considered a celebration. In modern civilization, the death ritual usually involves a dead body being displayed for the friends and relatives to pay their respects. In South Africa, the windows are smeared with ashes. Why would you take an artistic and expensive box and the person’s best clothes and bury it? Green burial growing in popularity in the U.S. 10 alternative ideas for a loved one’s cremation ashes, Fit for a president: The history of embalming, Incredible vintage funeral photos from U.S. history. Various religion do it various ways. It’s as good a custom as any, but strange if looked at from an outsider’s perspective. Every few years, the Malagasy people of Madagascar conduct a sacred ritual called Famadihana, or the Turning of the Bones. Not all communities conform to this tradition, but it is still commonly observed in Australia’s Northern Territory in particular. The practice is thought to have evolved from to the traditional burial rites of the Ga people of Ghana and Togo. 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