Funeral customs differ depending on where you are in the world.
Some funeral traditions from across the world could be considered barbaric to you, and yours barbaric to those whose traditions you find barbaric.
This page will hope to tell you a few of those traditions. It is important to keep an open mind when reading some of these, and although they may not be for you, they are the traditional burial method for the people who practice them. Remember, cultures differ, and what is normal for one, isn’t for another.
Here is how funerals are done in different parts of the world.
Western European Funerals
The traditional western European funeral is, as we all know, a traditionally Christian affair. The tradition started in Rome and spread westwards toward the United Kingdom. It is now practiced all over the world and spread as far as Australia, with the aid of colonialists.
According to the Perth funeral directors from Funeralcare, the memory of your loved ones is priceless, so you must cradle their memory for eternity in a beautiful funeral ceremony. Western European Christian funerals are the archetypical funeral – and for many, notwithstanding religion, are the chosen ceremony.
Cremation is another funeral type popular in Western Europe that originated in multiple places throughout the world. It was used in ancient India and was also used by the Celtics. Cremation is where a body is burnt on a metal tray, and the ashes of the body transferred to a container called an urn.
Cremation is very popular, and many find it a very intimate way to have their loved one pass over to the other side – as they are still technically present in their urn and still around your home. It helps loved ones to ‘feel’ their deceased relative.
Yes, you read it right, a vulture funeral. It is common in the faith of Zoroastrianism, which originated in Persia over three-thousand years ago and is commonly accepted to be the first organized monotheistic religion, for the dead to be left atop a tower to rot and to be eaten by vultures.
This has been cracked down upon by Iranian authorities who consider the practice barbaric, and as Iran is a largely Islamic country, they do not permit these types of funerals. They also take place in other Zoroastrian communities throughout the world, with the second-most in India. It is also common in Tibetan Buddhism, where it has gained the name a Tibetan Sky Funeral.
Endocannibalism is the practice of eating the dead shortly after they have died. It is very common among tribes of the Pacific and in South America. Those who practice endocannibalism say that they are recycling the spirit of their loved ones and that it is a very intimate experience to eat the dead. This is a tradition that raises a few eyebrows when it is mentioned, but to those that practice it, it is part of their culture.
With the help of this article, you should now know a few funeral traditions from throughout the world. These traditions are all unique in their own respect. You may never have heard of any of these before – but you have now!