Funeral Customs part 3

Fancy hearing some more bizarre funeral rituals that go beyond a traditional roses & burials with marble headstones?

Jewish mourners will take part in a mourning ritual known as ‘sitting shiva’. This is where friends and family will go to the Shiva house and mourn for 7 days. A candle will be lit and all mirrors will be covered so they can concentrate on the mourning. This occurs immediately after the body is buried.

Hindu’s today will make their final pilgrimage to die in the city of Banaras on the Ganges River. This is where it is believed the cycle of death is broken and the soul will ascend to the world of their ancestors – Pitriloka. Over 80 funeral pyres are present along the river so the dead can be cremated although often this isn’t possible and the dead bodies will simply float down the river.

Some African tribes would fire spears and arrows over the dead to ward of evil spirits, these days a rifle is shot over the deceased and this is to mirror the age old practice.

In Japan, when a nobleman died, a whopping twenty to thirty slaves would be made to commit Hari Kari (the process of belly cutting) as a sign of respect. Friends and wives along with slaves would even be strangled in Fiji to honour the deceased.

In some areas of China they believe that the more people that attend your funeral and stand over your headstones the more luck will be bestowed on your relatives. The Chinese have even gone as far as hiring strippers to the after tears party in order for the whole event to be more popular.

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