The news that your loved one has passed away hits all people differently. The result of this news is a unique form of burial practice characteristic of a certain region or tradition. Burial practices are typically unique to a particular culture and cannot be found in other regions. This resulted in some of the most uncommon practices that have attracted a lot of attention. All of these are used as unique forms to celebrate life and speed up the process of reincarnation and reaching heaven. Here are some of the most interesting burial traditions you should know about.
Also known as the “sky burial,” this is a common way for the deceased to be buried in Tibet. This is the burial custom of Buddhists, who deeply believe in sending the souls of their loved ones to heaven. As part of the burial procedure, the body is usually left outside, and then it is cut into pieces for the animals to eat, allowing the soul to be freed. Also, Buddhists believe that this tradition embraces the circle of life since the flesh of the deceased feeds animals.
Ashes Turned Into Beads
In some places on Earth, burial space is a premium, so a cremation is a realistic option. In South Korea, people got really creative when it came to burial. They decided to make the beads out of ashes instead of placing the ashes urns on top of the counter or stand. Namely, the ashes of their loved ones are being turned into beads of vibrant colors, which then take up some of the central places in their home.
This rather extravagant way of burial is highly common among western cultures, where people are buried in monuments made out of marble. Mausoleums are usually constructed for whole families, and family mausoleums are something you are likely to come across in America or Europe. This is one of the most unique ways to keep your family together after your death.
Tower of Silence
In one Zoroastrian tradition, it is believed that the corpse defiles whatever it touches, including fire and ground. In that way, the dead body is being raised from the ground for the vultures to devour. The place where the body is being placed is called the “Tower of Silence,” where other people do not have a chance to touch it. Before the body is placed atop this tower, it is cleaned with bull urine, and the tools used for cutting the clothes are destroyed.
“Dancing with the Dead” is the best name for this ritual, which is a common practice for the people in Madagascar. Malagasy people open the tombs every couple of years and change clothes on their deceased family members. Every time the dead one gets new clothing, they also get a brand new dance around the tomb while the music is playing all around. This ritual aims to make the flesh decompose faster and release the spirit of the dead person into the afterlife.
Celebrating the life of the dead can take several forms, and one of the traditions of the Varanasi people in India is to parade with their dead through the streets. The body of the deceased person is usually dressed in clothes of the vibrant colors that best describe their life. For instance, the color red symbolizes purity, while yellow is reserved for knowledge. In an effort for the souls to be reincarnated, these bodies are sprinkled with the sacred Ganges water and then cremated at public cremation spots.
Unlike some other traditions, Nordic cultures have embraced water as the resting place of the deceased. They have used water as a burial ground in a number of different ways. From placing the coffins of their loved ones on the cliffs while facing the water to using water as the legit burial site. Also, some make the “death ships” either along the river or send them into the ocean. They believe that by doing so, the dead are returned to the gods or places most revered by people in certain areas.
Burial customs are deeply rooted in traditions and are an inseparable part of one’s life and death. Some cultures encourage the release of spirits, while others believe that their deceased relatives return to God. In any case, the main goal is to commemorate someone’s life and honor them in the way they deserve. We hope this article was interesting and helpful in learning some unique aspects of other people’s cultures.