Most Gruesome Funeral Rituals Around The World

Death is evident, but the rituals people offer for salvation vary from culture to culture. These funeral rituals are considered sacred among the people but for the outsider, they may seem cringe or brutal. Let’s discuss some of the burial rituals.

The World is full of surprises. Sometimes they may shock you with the kindest gestures, while sometimes they make you gag by their actions. One such thing is funeral rituals followed by the people of the world. These rituals are sacred for their cultures but you might find them awkward or more precisely brutal.

Let’s explore them together!

Sky Burials of Tibet

The Tibetan people think of the human body as a vessel that contains worldly components forever. So after anybody in Tibet dies, they keep the body in their houses for a few days so the family and loved ones can pay their respect. Moreover, the funeral ceremony contains blessings and afterlife arrangements for the deceased. After a few days, the monk took the body and took it to the top of the hill. He then cut the body into small pieces and spread it on the top to be fed by animals, especially vultures. This practice makes them believe that the spirit fully gets its salvation.

Eating The Deceased

In the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea, the Fore tribe has a burial tradition that might seem strange to people from the West. When someone dies, instead of burying them, the Fore people eat a small part of their body as a way to show respect and stay connected to their loved ones.

On a similar note, the Aghori tribe of India has the same kind of tradition. They believe that the body is a temple where god resides so eating the deceased will release the god and the spirit will reach its salvation easily. Even though it might sound shocking, this tradition is vital to them because it represents the everlasting bond between those who are alive and those who have passed away.

Funeral Rituals of Hanging Coffins

For over 2,000 years, the Igorot tribe in the Sagada, Northern Philippines has placed their loved ones in coffins hung on cliff sides. They think this brings them nearer to their ancestors’ spirits. The bodies are laid to rest curled up, like how babies are in the womb. But as time goes on, younger people are following different customs, so this old tradition is fading away.

From Ashes To Beads

In South Korea, when someone passes away, their ashes aren’t just kept in an urn like in many other places. Instead, they’re turned into shiny beads, which can be different colors like pink, black, or turquoise. These beads are then put in glass vases or left out in dishes, making them a pretty decoration for homes. Since there’s not a lot of space in South Korea cremation is becoming more common. Turning ashes into something beautiful gives families a special tradition to follow and a precious keepsake to cherish.

A Variety of Other Filipino Customs

We promised to talk about seven special burial traditions, but in the Philippines, there are so many it’s hard to pick just a few. For instance, the Tinguian folks dress up their loved ones in fancy clothes and even place a lit cigarette in their mouth. Meanwhile, the Benguet people cover their deceased’s eyes and sit them in chairs by the door. In Cebu, they dress kids in red at funerals to keep them from seeing ghosts. In Cavite, some are buried standing up in trees they picked before they passed away.

Famadihana Funeral Rituals

Famadihan-drazana, or Famadihana for short, is a special ceremony to honor those who have passed away. It’s a big traditional event held mainly in the southern highlands of Madagascar. It happens once every seven years during the cold months from July to September. During Famadihana, people don’t cry or show sadness like in regular burials. Instead, it’s like a happy celebration. The ceremony begins by taking the bodies out of their graves, polishing the bones, and wrapping them in new clothes. Then, the bodies are carried around their tombs a few times before being buried again. Famadihana also allows families to put their loved ones together in one big family tomb. During the celebration, there are loud music, dancing, and parties with lots of food and drinks.

It’s important to remember that these rituals are seen as respectful and sacred by the cultures that practice them. What may seem brutal to an outsider is a way for these cultures to honor the dead and deal with grief.

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