BURIAL CUSTOMS AROUND THE WORLD


BURIAL CUSTOMS






This page will focus on varying burial customs and gravestones. Please click on image to enlarge. Contributions appreciated. Copyright applies, remaining with the contributor at all times.





MEXICO

Note the very personalised gravestones, the cemeteries are very colourful. You can read a little about some of the customs by following these links...




 Presentation  above by Alan Godoy






(c) Priory Studios


(c) Priory Studios


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(c) Priory Studios

(c) Priory Studios

(c) Priory Studios

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MONTENEGRO

"Death and the Afterlife. Funerals are large, elaborate occasions. In the cemetery, a spread of salads and roasted meats is presented in honour of the deceased; this is repeated a year after the death, at which point the gravestone is placed in the ground. Gravestones often bear photographs as well as inscriptions."
Excerpt from http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/serbia-and-Montenegro.html







(c) Priory Studios

(c) Priory Studios



An unusual custom in Montenegro is the posting of death notices on lampposts, trees, wherever the public can see them. It seems quite practical in many ways, at least the neighbours or friends passing by will see these. 

For a wonderful interesting blog on Montenegro, please visit  

http://montenegro-for.me/about-me/



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 GREECE


 Kerameikos in Athens.
Photo used under Creative Commons from Wikimedia Commons, the work of DerHexer

To quote from Wikipedia...
The area took its name from the city square or dēmos (δῆμος) of the Kerameis (Κεραμεῖς, potters), which in turn derived its name from the word κέραμος (kéramos, "pottery clay", from which the English word "ceramic" is derived).[1] The "Inner Kerameikos" was the former "potters' quarter" within the city and "Outer Kerameikos" covers the cemetery and also the Dēmósion Sēma (δημόσιον σῆμα, public graveyard) just outside the city walls, where Pericles delivered his funeral oration in 431 BC. The cemetery was also where the Ηiera Hodos (the Sacred Way, i.e. the road to Eleusis) began, along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries. The quarter was located there because of the abundance of clay mud carried over by the Eridanos River.

 In ancient Greece, pottery was used for funeral urns, memorial vases, and various funerary sculptures. In a fashion similar to that of the Egyptians, the deceased were buried with all that they might need in the afterlife... food, vessels, wine, jewellery, even weapons...The body of the deceased was first left to lie in state, then a funeral procession accompanied it to the final resting place, whether it was to be a tomb, or a single grave.

 Some tombs of important figures have been found to hold the remains of horses which had been sacrificed after drawing the coffin in the funeral procession.


                                 Funeral monuments from the Kerameikos cemetery at Athens
         Images by Templar52  Used under Creative Commons

Women played a major part in the funeral rites in that they prepared and washed the body, anointed it with oils and made a wreath to adorn it. Some bodies have been found with coins in the mouth "to pay the ferryman' on their journey to the afterlife.

The most common practice was interment from around 3000BC, however cremation upon a pyre commenced about 1100BC... This was often depicted in early Greek classic studies. This was to revert again when interment became the only accepted practice when the Christian era began.

 Though in Greece, open caskets are not unusual, this isn't a common practice worldwide in Greek communities. In Australia, for instance, where there are quite large Greek communities, particularly in Melbourne, the funerals are more in keeping with local traditions. While the majority are still interments, some cremations do occur. Viewings generally no longer occur in the home, though they are available at the funeral home if a family wishes.  The Greek services are conducted by the priest, accompanied by a chanter.. Lighting of candles for the deceased and all those who have gone before is a very important part of the ceremony. 

Before the casket leaves the church, the mourners file past the casket, and either kiss the casket or the cross on it, to farewell the deceased...Some prefer to kiss their fingers and touch the casket.  The deceased's family  follows the priest, the rest of the mourners follow... and then the family return to the front pew and  are greeted by all who offer their condolences as they pass by them. 




Many gravestones include a box for candles, holy oil or photos...  often photos of the deceased are on the headstones...





"Rituals for the after-death period take place on the 3rd day after the death, the 9th day, the 20th, 40th, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. Those rituals are commemorations, in which family and friends participate, and which are known as ‘Mnemosyna’. Special prayers are offered during a ‘Mnemosyno’ for the parting of the deceased from the world of the living. "

 This was something that I thought was great when I was a child... the wheat was shaped as a dome and was sweetened with honey... we children couldn't wait for the service to be over to taste this delicacy.. of course, we had no idea what it symbolised.

"Furthermore, at those remembrances, boiled wheat is offered to the attendees. The wheat represents the reciprocity and solidarity between the dead and the living. Since ancient times it is believed that this offering will remit the deceased’s sins, and that it has the meaning of renaissance (Wilson, 2006; Spiridakis, 1972). "

You can read more about some of the customs here...

Death in the Modern Greek Culture

Greek Orthodox Funeral Traditions | A Good Goodbye ~ Funeral …




 VARIOUS LINKS TO SOME GREAT GRAVEYARD PHOTOS/STORIES..



28 Headstones That Defied Expectations | Atlas Obscura


Old Sydney Burial Ground Australia





                                   

2 comments:

  1. The Mexican graves are very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They sure are...thanks for commenting, Sharon. I hope got add at least one new place each week... I've always had a fascination with different customs.

      Delete

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