Unique Burial Rituals From Around the World

You may think all funerals are the same. People gather to support each other during a difficult time, listen to meaningful words delivered by those in attendance, and perform the funeral rites for the deceased.

While this is true for some religions and cultures, several other groups around the world have unique funeral rituals. Let’s take a look at some of them.

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What Do Funerals Involve In Different Countries?

Not every community has the same approach to funerals. The customs in some cultures differ from others, depending on their traditions. 

Here are a few unique examples:

Fantasy Coffins

Ghanaians believe the deceased is able to wield powerful influence over their living loved ones. Therefore, they often do everything they can to show how much they care for them by manufacturing so-called ‘fantasy coffins’. They frequently correspond to the deceased’s interests, personality qualities, or job.

The burial casket also frequently resembles something the person could see on a daily basis. A fantasy coffin could also signify something the person would like to see in the afterlife.

Water Burials

Nordic countries, along with many other cultures, often use water when burying their loved ones. Some use water as the burial ground, while others lay caskets on top of cliffs facing the water. You can even find communities that set bodies afloat in ships on rivers or oceans to return them to gods.

Tower Of Silence

A Dakhma, or a Tower of Silence, is a circular, elevated building created by Zoroastrians for incarnation in order to prevent dead bodies from contaminating the soil and other natural elements. Carrion birds, generally vultures and other scavengers are often left to take care of the body.  


A celebration of life can take many different forms. The Indian tradition of Varanasi often involves parading the deceased through the streets, with the body dressed in colors highlighting their virtues. For example, red indicates purity, while yellow stands for knowledge.

The participants will then dampen the remains with water from the Ganges River before cremation. It’s said that this helps the soul reach salvation and end the process of reincarnation.

Turning Ashes Into Beads

Numerous burial rituals include cremation, but some South Koreans take it a step further by turning ashes into beads. The beads are shiny and can come in a wide range of colors, such as turquoise, black, or pink. They’re placed inside vases or open dishes and are commonly used as decoration. This is quite different from the Western practice of placing them in an urn.

Scattering Ashes In The Sea

Scattering ashes into the sea is a long-held tradition in many different cultures. Although sometimes this method can make more sense in certain parts of the world. For example, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and with burial grounds being so limited, people use this alternative method.

Thus, they opt to scatter the ashes of their dearly departed in the South China Sea. The government provides free ferry services, enabling hundreds of mourners to cast the ashes of their loved ones into the sea.

Seamless Conventional Methods

There are many other interesting burial traditions, but most people prefer conventional methods. However, no matter what your funeral needs are, Hollywood Forever can help. Please reach out to us today for more information. We’re here to assist you in your time of need.


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