Burial traditions and rituals — an integral part of the culture of any nation. Times change, and nowadays many rituals surprise, seem wild, outlandish, exotic. But first they were closely associated with religious and magical beliefs.
Prior to the adoption of Christianity in Western and Eastern Slavs preferred to burn the bodies of the dead. Cremation was not only hygienic value it, as the belief, promoted rapid ascension of the soul to heaven. But the South Slavs were burying their dead, usually in the ground, filling the grave mound. If a person lives in a rich and noble, in a world of his favorite animals and accompanied things, weapons, utensils … they are placed next to the host.
In some regions, where they lived the Slavic tribes, the body was lowered into the river or burned in the ship, which was started on the water.
After the tenth century Rus was baptized, our ancestors buried their dead for a long time, combining Christian and pagan rituals. Thus, together with a cross around his neck hung the dead protective amulet.
In the villages of the deceased farmer put his head on the bench in the red corner, where hung the icon. The body is covered with a white canvas (shroud), arms folded across his chest. In his right hand placed white handkerchief. All this was done to ensure that the deceased was brought to the Lord in the proper form. Buried on the third day, when the soul was finally part with the body. This custom has survived to this day as the one that requires all the mourners to leave the coffin lowered into the grave of a handful of earth. Earth — a symbol of purification, in ancient times it was believed that it takes all the filth that man has accumulated over a lifetime.
Commemoration once called feasts. It was a special ritual designed to facilitate the transition of the deceased in the next world. Preparing feasts for special dishes. One of the dishes was the memorial remains kutya, which is rice with raisins. It relies entertain the audience. Can not do without Russian commemoration of pancakes — the pagan symbol of the sun.
To the dead did not come back …
Curious burial customs and other ancient peoples living in Russia. So Far Ainu tribes originally buried their dead near the huts, and only later began to be set aside for this special place. It is interesting that used two types of burial — underground and above ground. In the first case, the body was wrapped in a mat and lowered into the grave, which is installed on a gravestone. In the second corpse was placed in a tomb in the form of the house.
When Ayn died, his body was carried out of the cabin through a specially cut through this hole in the wall. And then carried to the burial site confusing paths to get it … could not find my way back. Ainu believed — the dead come back.
Embalmed body of the dead chiefs and arranged a funeral, not within a year. Like many of the heathen nations, the Ainu supplied dead household utensils, weapons and other items that the deceased enjoyed in life. But before dumping all these things necessarily broken. It was thought that such things Ainu liberated soul from the material body.
Chukchi, who also believed in ghosts, and burned at the stake or the body attributed to the tundra. Before burial, dressed in their special clothes, usually sewn from the skins of white animals. Curiously, the elderly and seriously ill patients often preferred death from the hand of one of his relatives. It was believed that this will provide a better end posthumous share.
Many exotic funeral traditions have survived to this day. For example, in some areas of China accepted suspended coffins with the deceased over a cliff. Usually do so when children die or members of the upper classes. It is believed that the soul will be easier to go to the transcendental world.
Tibetans are satisfied with the so-called "celestial burial." Dismember the body of the deceased on the side and take out in the mountains, to be devoured by vultures leaving. These birds of prey find female incarnations of the Buddha — Dakini. Vultures supposedly carry the souls of the dead to heaven, and they expect it of their reincarnation, and the mortal remains fall prey birds. That's what Buddha Sakyamuni once fed their flesh hawk to save a pigeon. And yet, let's say, the llama is not subject to "the heavenly burial" because his body is as sacred as the soul.
In Indonesia Toraja tribe mummified dead, wrapping in cloth, placed in a tomb or held directly in the house. Between physical death and burial may take several years. All this is in preparation for the final ritual. In this case, the deceased is considered dormant. His soul is still prepared to go to the land of the spirits. When local shamans consider that it is ripe for this, the body several times to throw up, and then put their feet to the south. Only then will announce the official death of this man. His former fellow representatives of the people buried in Toraja open caves where they guard the peace stone sculptures — tau tau.
Striptease at the funeral
Like everything in this world, the funeral culture has evolved over time, and new traditions. It concerns, in particular, and the inscriptions on the monuments. The Europeans have taken place epitaph deceased. In Bulgaria, for example, on tombstones can be seen almost a detailed biography of the deceased and the Japanese place on the gravestones special QR-codes. With a mobile phone can scan information about who is at rest, for dates of life and death of this man, devoted to his epitaph to read, and even see his picture.
In other Asian countries — Taiwan — more than 30 years, There is a tradition to send the last journey with songs and dances. No church funeral dirges and gloomy music, as it is in Europe! All the action takes place in the open air to the fiery pop rhythms. Thus effectively honor the deceased.
But this is not all. At the request of the family of the deceased or at the request of the dying are invited to the funeral strippers. Half-naked dancers come to the ceremony to the neon-lit truck, the so-called Electric Flower Car, and right at the back of suit erotic dances, thus replacing the traditional mourners. For a fee, you can invite cheerful girls to the wake and even ask them to dance fully naked. It is true that the Taiwan authorities do not like it, and they are thinking about how to prevent such abuse of funeral rites.
To die, to learn to live
Perhaps no one does not think so much about death as Asians. South Korean organization Coffin Academy (Coffin Academy) even holds seminars where everyone can rehearse their own demise, after spending some time … in a coffin. The procedure is very popular among the locals. Clients are encouraged to lie in Domowina ten minutes in a specially prepared for the occasion garb. As the director of the Chung-Jung, it is a powerful psychotherapeutic effect, which allows one to attain peace of mind and change his outlook on life. Employees of the organization say that people come to the Coffin Academy «dying to learn how to live": the world looks very different from the tomb.
Authors such shocking project hope that in this way will reduce the number of suicides, which in the South Asian country has recently become catastrophically much.