Unique Funeral Traditions around the World
Every country, village, and little town is unique. So, it is not surprising that there are some incredibly unique funeral traditions around the world. Have you ever wondered what a traditional funeral in China looks like? What about traditions in Bali and Taiwan? This list of unique funeral traditions worldwide will open your eyes to a new world of unique cultures.
Professional Mourners – Taiwan & China
In China and Taiwan, it is a common funeral tradition to hire professional mourners. Here, sobbing is a sign of how popular the person who passed was and how deeply they will be missed. Professional mourners even get a brief of the deceased’s life, so they can talk to other mourners about their loved one.
Balinese Cremation – Bali
In Balinese tradition, cremation is often the preferred interment choice. However, in this tradition the coffins would be placed into a wooden bull, to be set ablaze on a crematory platform. This was said to be done to release the soul and enable reincarnation.
Glass Viewing – Spain
To honor a long-held tradition from Barcelona, during funerals the deceased are encased in glass niches. The bodies are laid out sort of like a store window, with the body on display in the center of the room.
Jazz Funeral Processions – New Orleans
Jazz was, and still remains, an essential aspect of the New Orleans culture. It is not a surprise that music accompanied most funerals. During a traditional New Orleans funeral procession, a big horn band would lead the group playing sad songs at first. As they moved along, they would start playing more upbeat tunes and blues numbers while dancing to celebrate life.
Glowing Buddha – Tokyo
Japan has the highest cremation rate in the world. Many rituals are about making the ceremony truly special. And that includes this modern glowing Buddha celebration. When a loved one passes, the remains are placed in one of these glass Buddha statues. The place where they are stored works with a smart card that has a unique code. When family members or loved ones come to visit the deceased, the wall of Buddha statues lights up in a blue tone. And the statue that holds their loved ones remains lights up in a shimmery white. The white light will guide you straight to your loved ones.
Live Streaming Funerals – Worldwide
Live streaming funeral services is officially a new tradition worldwide. Technology, globalization, and the fact that families are now scattered all over the world has forced families to find unique ways to include their loved ones, even when they are far away. Today, many funeral homes offer video streaming services for funerals and memorial services to help families stay close during difficult times.
Tree Burials – Philippines
There is a funeral pre-planning tradition in the Cavite province of the Philippines. But, not the kind of planning you think. Here, residents choose a tree that will eventually turn into their final resting place. When death is near, the family builds a hut near the tree the individual previously picked. Once the person passes away, the trunk of the tree is hollowed out. The deceased is placed inside their chosen tree, finally becoming one with their tree forever.
Personalized Coffins – Ghana
In Ghana, people believe in the power of customization. When a loved one dies, they think they should be buried in something they loved and something that somehow represents their lives. To celebrate the deceased, they build fantasy coffins that are shaped like planes, fishes, chickens, or whatever it was that represents the deceased’s life.
Reincarnation – Laos
In Laos, the funeral traditions are meant to help the deceased transition into their next life. Funerals often take place over several days and include chanting songs and burning incense to guide the decease’s soul into their ancestral home.
Themed Funerals – United Kingdom
More and more, personalized funerals are becoming increasingly popular. But, in the UK this has been a unique funeral tradition for years now. The idea is to plan funerals according to the lifestyle of the deceased. So, from the venue to the décor and format, everything is 100-percent customized. You can easily see Star-Wars-Themed funerals, memorial services that only play rock music, and décor that aligns with the deceased’s favorite sports team.
Plan Ahead for What You Want Your Funeral to Be
It is becoming more and more common to take charge of your funeral arrangements. More people are taking the time to sit down with a funeral service expert and personalizing their funeral to satisfy their needs and wants. Pre-planning your funeral can give you the utmost control of your last celebration of life.