Unique Burial Rituals Across The Globe
Although death is such a universal experience, it is marked in various ways by different people. The traditional burial is probably the most familiar - placing the body of the deceased inside a wooden or metal casket and then placing that casket underground, sometimes in a vault. However you will be surprised to know the several alternative burial rituals that can be witnessed in communities across the globe.
Alternative burials can be a good option to consider if you are unable to afford or arrange a casket for burials. Read on to find out about the various burial types practiced in different parts of the world.
A sky burial is a common practice in Tibet, where it is largely believed that the closer the soul of the deceased can be kept to Heaven, the better. The body is kept on the mountaintop, often cut up into pieces, to be exposed to the elements as well as scavenging animals and birds. The significance of this ritual is to allow the soul to escape from the body as quickly as possible while also providing sustenance for the scavenging species.
Similarly, in the Zoroastrian religion, there was a specific structure known as the Tower of Silence atop which the body of the deceased would be placed and left exposed to vultures which are scavenging birds. However it has become difficult for Zoroastrian people to continue executing this burial ritual due to the declining population of vultures.
In South Korea, you might often witness the ashes of a deceased person being turned into beads as a form of cremation jewelry. Since South Korea is a small country, there is a shortage of land for cemeteries. For this reason a law was passed in 2000 that would require you to remove a body buried in a graveyard after 60 years.
The passing of this law resulted in a sharp increase in cremation costs. People started opting for cremation jewelry such as having the ashes of the deceased transformed into beads that come in various colors such as green, blue, or pink. The beads are typically not worn but are displayed on dishes or in urns. These burial beads are among the most unique burial rituals you will see anywhere in the world.
For centuries humans in certain communities have involved water in their burial rituals. You can witness this practice in multiple cultures even today. In Nordic countries, bodies are sent out into the ocean on small ships specifically for this purpose. Certain groups of Buddhists also lay the body of the deceased on a flowing river as a form of water burial. For a more modern take on a water burial, you can consider opting for a biodegradable urn and placing the ashes in it before sending it out into the ocean.
In the city of New Orleans, a funeral service often involves a funeral procession with the accompaniment of a brass band. This ritual has been around since the 19th century and has West African roots, though the music used was not jazz until it gained popularity in the early 1900s. The purpose of having a funeral with music was to memorialize the loss of the deceased while celebrating their life.
You might witness a phenomenon known as ‘hanging coffins’ in certain parts of China and the Philippines. This term is used to describe coffins placed along cliffsides, either through tying or nailing down. In the Philippines, this practice usually extends only to the most distinguished members of the community. The significance of these hanging coffins is twofold - to keep the deceased closer to the ancestors’ spirits in the sky as well as to protect the corpse from any rot due to water and other elements that could occur if they were buried underground.
How To Plan A Funeral
Planning a funeral service may seem like a daunting task. Rest assured, there are many excellent resources available to help you make the important choices efficiently and with peace of mind, all while helping you stay within your budget. Below is the Titan Casket guide to get your funeral planning process started.
You can now send your loved one’s ashes to orbit around space through the services of companies such as Celestic, Inc. or Elysium Space. These companies also offer a service wherein they spread the ashes of your loved one on the surface of the moon, though this service comes with a significant price tag of almost $10,000.