Death Traditions Across Cultures: A Brief World View

Death traditions - we had questions. Do you?

Death traditions – we had questions. Do you?

What types of death traditions span the many cultures that make up this wonderful world? It’s a question we’re faced with here at Une Belle Vie each day as we review potential new artists, new pieces for our collection and the people who would find our selected pieces suitable memorials for their loved ones. It’s incredible what some research can uncover and today, we wanted to share with you some of the more interesting death traditions we’ve uncovered:

Ancient Chinese cultures would hang coffins from the side of cliffs.

Tibetian Buddhists consider death a highly important event. It is thought that following death, a person’s personality goes into a state of trance for four days and during this time, a person does not know that they’re dead. This transitional period is called the First Bardo.

The Amish keep death close to home and funerals are very private affairs. The family prepares a deceased’s body for burial and coffins are all handmade in the local community. Graves are all dug by hand and families recognize a one year period of mourning.

Hindus practice what is known as the Teravih. This ceremony spans from the day of death until thirteen days following their funeral. An act of reverence towards the deceased, the family abstains from attending religious ceremonies, eating sweets, wearing new clothing or participating in any sort of festivity.

The Malagasy people in Madagascar practice famadihana. Believing that a person can only pass into the afterlife after a body is completely decomposed, this culture wraps the bones of loved ones in fresh cloth after up to a year in a crypt. The family dances with the bones as a celebration and ritual of reverence for the deceased.

It’s important to understand that each culture has death traditions of their own. Meant for dealing with grief and a means of coping, we’re confident that the above traditions wouldn’t be so foreign if that’s the environment in which we were raised! We hope you found these as enlightening as we did – we enjoy learning about the diversity of cultures and how we can improve our business to help people across as many cultures as possible with our hand-selected urns for cremation. Be firmly believe it’s about celebrating life, coping with death and honoring your loved one’s contribution.

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