Funeral traditions vary from culture to culture. Dayton Ohio funeral homes have been in the services of local families for years. Funeral directors are aware that each era in history has unique traditions. Because of this, we put together a list of the most common funeral traditions from around the world so that you can learn more about your loved one’s heritage and celebrate them in a way befitting their culture.
For centuries, Tibet has had a funeral custom referred to as a sky burial, a tradition with a unique twist. Because it is believed that the dead should return to nature as quickly as possible, a sky burial involves placing the chopped-up body in a high-elevation place (usually on a mountain) by the burial master. Afterward, vultures swoop in and devour the corpse. The sky burials are seen as purification and a way to return the body to nature.
When Koreans die, their bodies are cremated, and the ashes are made into beads. The idea behind this process is that incorporating the ashes into something, such as jewelry or a keepsake, will help family members feel connected to their loved ones even after they are gone. In addition, these beads are also used to help promote harmony and familial unity. When a child gets married, these beads are given to the couple so they can pass them down to their children and continue the tradition.
India has a long tradition of cremation; it is one of the oldest funeral practices in the world. In India, the dead are cremated on a pyre piled with wood and then burnt, while waiting by their side. The family member or people who stay behind to watch over them may collect any bones or ashes left over afterward.
The Vikings were a seafaring society with their funeral rituals. Many burials of the Viking age depict an individual lying on top of large pieces of furniture, such as beds or chests. The body was dressed in the finest clothes and jewelry, washed, combed, and perfumed. The boat was then lit on fire and sent out to sea, where it would burn away as a symbol of burial on their way to Valhalla.
In the aftermath of a death in New Orleans, there is a Jazz Funeral, a uniquely New Orleans tradition. Jazz funerals are joyous events where the community comes together to celebrate the circle of life, an occasion that offers catharsis and consolation to all present. Through song and dance, those honoring the dead person connect directly with the divine through their ancestors and make prayers for peace for both themselves and their loved ones.
Funeral traditions can run the gamut from somber, to beautiful, to unique. Whatever your thoughts on the afterlife, it’s interesting to learn about other cultures and ways in which people commemorate the dead. Each of these customs reminds loved ones that they will be missed. Some are meant to usher people into their next life. Regardless of how or why certain funerary practices exist, Dayton Ohio funeral homes respect them as a part of a culture. We are ready to help.