Rituals have always been an inseparable part of human life, irrespective to the caste, age and sex. People belonging to any caste and faith need to perform the rituals especially in the case of death. Get acquainted with some of the more ‘out there’ death rituals in the world.
1. Cannibalism – a practice observed in Papua New Guinea and Brazil, where the relatives feast on the dead bodies.
All the relatives gather together and relish the dead body by adding some spices, so that the body is edible.
2. In China Donghai’s region, the deceased person’s status can be estimated according to the people present at the funeral.
To make this boring ritual an exciting one, people hire professional and beautiful strippers who are believed to pull the crowd.
3. Buddhists in Tibet believe in sky burial, as the weather makes it difficult to carry out a more elaborate ritual.
Here the body of the deceased is chopped into pieces, mixed with some flour and then left in the open so that the scavengers eat it.
4. Local residents of Accran suburb bury the dead in his choice of coffin.
For example, if you liked playing guitar or eating ice cream, you would be buried in that shape of coffin.
5. Dani people of West Papua New Guinea cut off the fingers of the relatives of the dead using an axe so that the spirit stays away.
However, this ritual is banned nowadays.
6. In Zoroastrianism, people clean the dead body with bull’s urine and then lay in linen, and a dog is allowed to visit the dead.
After the mourning, the dead body is kept at some height where the cloths are removed with the help of sharp tools, so that the scavengers eat away the body quickly.
7. Malagasy of Madagascar dance with the dead and follow a belief called ‘Famadihana’.
Famadihana says a dead person, once buried, meets his ancestors and hence it is a time to enjoy and celebrate the death.
8. An old Chinese dynasty follow the ritual of hanging the coffin.
They believed a coffin should be close to the sky as it guidehelps the soul to reach heaven.
9. Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America follow the ritual of throwing away the dead body to wild animals.
These people believe that dead bodies do not belong to their city.
10. ‘Strangulation’ is derived from the ancient tradition of India, ‘Sati’.
It involves killing of near ones of the deceased, so that he/she is not left alone in other world.
11. The practice of Sati forced the widow to burn herself in the funeral pyre along with her husband.
Sati is an ancient practice from India, which is rarely found these days.
12. Japanese Sokushinbutsu Buddhist monks practice ‘self mummification’, where the priest essentially commits suicide just by passing 1000 days on seeds and nuts.
Next 1000 days are spent drinking poisonous teas and eating barks to make their body poisoned so that it would not be infested after death. Then, he gets into a sealed tomb and rings a bell which proves he is alive. If the bell stops ringing the tomb is sealed for next 1000 days and then displayed on the monastery.