Indian Funerals: Traditions And What to Expect From Hindu Funerals? – Titan Casket

What To Expect from A Hindu Funeral?

What To Expect from A Hindu Funeral?

Key Insights

  • While many people view India as homogenous, it is defined by its multireligious culture
  • Hindu funerals have multiple different traditions and draw on the sacred roots of Hinduism
  • The custom of wearing white to a Hindu funeral honors beliefs of rebirth and purity
  • It is crucial to show respect for cultural etiquette before attending a funeral and be aware of relevant customs

A Multi-Religious India

While many people view India as a homogenous entity, it is actually a secular nation with many religions that follow a variety of religious practices. There are large swathes of the population of people that follow Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in particular. It is crucial to be aware of the different cultural traditions so that you may follow them appropriately depending on the funeral service you are attending. Sensitivity at such a difficult time is key, and you would not want to offend anyone’s sentiments. Online resources and well-informed family or friends can guide you in correct funeral etiquette, dressing, and courtesy. 

What is A Hindu Funeral

A Hindu funeral service is one which is keeping with the traditions and beliefs of Hinduism. Hinduism believes that after one’s death, they are reincarnated. Their reincarnation form is determined by their behavior in their life, also known as karma. This process of rebirth eventually concludes in attaining ‘moksha’ or total peace. One is expected to live in accordance with good and righteousness so that they may be reborn and attain moksha. As a result of this belief in reincarnation, upon someone’s passing, they are cremated as soon as possible. There is no embalming done as the body is rapidly cremated. The cremation usually takes place within 24 hours of the death, and traditionally women are not allowed to attend this ceremony. Prior to cremation, the body is kept at home, with loved ones coming to offer their condolences and say goodbye. The body is adorned with flowers and simple white cloth, with Hindu prayers being recited. After cremation, ashes are to be scattered in the holy river Ganges, but they are often scattered in a nearby body of water as well. The mourning period after death lasts 13 days, during which a framed photo of the deceased is placed with flowers. 

What To Wear to a Hindu Funeral

White is commonly worn to Hindu funerals, to simplify purity and rebirth. White demonstrates respect towards the bereaved. Black is seen as an offensive color to wear at a Hindu funeral. Guests usually wear simple traditional clothes such as sarees and kurtas. Footwear is taken off, and flashy jewelry is avoided. If a Hindu funeral is being held in the United States of America, it is best to check the dress code so you can dress appropriately.

How To Dress For A Funeral
Do you have questions about how to dress for a funeral? Titan Casket offers attire etiquette tips for funeral attendees.

Cultural Etiquette

Hindu funerals customarily have the body visible for viewing. Guests are expected to do this quietly without touching the body out of respect. Guests do not usually bring food or flowers. It is incredibly important to be fully aware of traditions before attending a funeral.

Pre-Plan Your Funeral

Casket Pre-Planning Made Easy

Pre-purchasing a casket secures a fixed price for you and your family, guarding against inflation. Unlike many funeral home pre-planning packages, there are no additional charges that will arise when the casket is required.