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Unique Funeral Traditions from Around the World

When you think of funeral traditions, what springs to mind? For most of us in the United States, it is likely to be customs like a viewing, a religious service, a burial, or a sprinkling of ashes.

If you live in New Orleans, you might think of jazz burials with a brass band leading a funeral procession. If your family has loved ones far from home, perhaps you have been offered the option of a livestreaming video of the funeral service. 

But different cultures have developed their own unique funeral traditions around the world. Here are three of those unique and worldly funeral ideas:

burial beads 

Burial Beads

In South Korea, graveyard space is limited and the costs for burial and managing the grave can be high. As a result, the majority of families now opt for cremation. Instead of ashes, many families choose to turn their loved one’s remains into small colorful beads that can be displayed in the home.

fantasy coffin 

Fantasy Coffins

In Ghana, funerals are a celebration of a person’s life both here on earth and in the afterlife. One component of this celebration is a coffin designed to reflect the personality and hobbies of their deceased loved one. Fantasy coffin designs include favorite animals, luxury cars, and musical instruments. Funerals are often delayed for several months while the family has the perfect coffin designed and built to send their loved one off in style.

tree burial

Tree Burials

In the Cavite province of the Philippines, residents choose a tree that will one day be their place of eternal rest. When death is near, the family builds a hut near the tree where their individual lives until they pass away. Once death occurs, the trunk of the tree is hollowed out, and the individual is placed vertically inside their chosen tree, becoming one with the tree for eternity.

When making your own end-of-life plans or those of your loved one, be aware that cultures and customs differ. Find inspiration in the diverse funeral traditions from around the world and select the rituals that will bring the most comfort to your family.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care social workers can assist patients and their families in making funeral arrangements. You can learn more from our blog or call us at 1-888-564-3405 for more information.


Recommended Reading:

The Funeral Rule: 10 Guaranteed Rights of the Bereaved

What is a Home Funeral?

Cremation: What You Need to Know?


If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community. Copyright © 2017 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.

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