Funerals Around the World
Living in Southern California, it’s easy to start to start to think that local traditions are universal. While some people who live in other states and countries share our traditions, not all do. A host of unique traditions exist relative to the way people around the world honor the dead.
New Orleans Funeral Traditions
When someone in New Orleans, Louisiana dies, boisterous jazz musicians dressed in colorful garb parade down city streets. The tradition blends those in Africa and France, this joyful while simultaneously sorrowful dance of joy and grief comforts mourners who follow a veritable marching band. Typically, the band begins with a sorrowful dirge and then shifts to a more upbeat tone after mourners bury the body. Commonly observed in the city center, not every Louisianan mourns in this manner.
Funerals in Mongolia & Tibet
In the Buddhist tradition, people in Mongolia and Tibet share the belief that spirits transmigrate after death. That is, their souls move on while the body becomes an empty vessel. To aid in their loved ones’ return to the earth, mourners chop the bodies of loved ones into pieces and place them on a mountaintop to expose the shell to the elements, including vultures. As barbaric as this sounds, 80 percent of Tibetans chose to observe the practice, often referred to as a Sky Burial.
Traditions for Funerals in The Philippines
With different traditions celebrated in various parts of the country, the Benguet of Northwestern Philippines blindfold their dead and place them next to the main entrance of the houses. Their Tinguian neighbors dress bodies in their best clothes, seating them on a chair and placing a lit cigarette in their lips. The Caviteño, who live near Manila, bury their dead in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When someone falls ill, they select their entombment tree. Meanwhile, the Apayo, who live in the north, bury their dead under the kitchen.
South Korea Funeral & Burial Traditions
Due to limited space for burial in South Korea, funeral directors have creatively come up with a way to dispose of the deceased. In many cases, Korean cremate and press deceased bodies into jewelry-like beads. The colorful beads, stored in a jar, take up little room.
The New York Times reports that Balinese cremation ceremonies are where the Balinese “have their greatest fun,” In 2008, the island saw one of its most lavish cremations ever as the head of the royal family was burned along with 68 commoners. Thousands of volunteers gathered to carry a giant bamboo platform, an enormous wooden bull and a wooden dragon. After a long procession, the leader’s body was eventually placed inside the bull and burned as a dragon stood witness. In the Balinese tradition, cremation releases the soul. This frees it to inhabit a new body — and is considered a sacred duty.
Funerals in Glendora, Covina, and Azusa, California
Our cooperative effort with Sacred Heart Chapel in Covina and Azusa roots tie us to the community. We work out of our showroom/office location in Glendora. Planning a variety of funeral, burial and cremation ceremonies, we serve the San Gabriel Valley, Inland Empire, LA Basin and beyond. Helping families honor their loved ones in unique ways, we love helping celebrate unique lives. For example, we have officiated at funerals with themes as varied as sports, treasured keepsakes, game-playing, theatrical, ocean-centered, star-focused, and many more! In 2017 and beyond, we can help you plan absolutely any type of ceremony you want. The sky’s the limit!
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services
Funeral directing is a unique job. The reason we enjoy it is because we love helping families during their time of need. Drop by our Glendora showroom any time. In Covina, our relationship with Sacred Heart Chapel is the perfect place for mourners to host funerals and memorial services in a grandiose yet intimate setting. We proudly serve the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Basin, Orange County and the Inland Empire. Working in the mortuary industry since 1996, we have worked hard to build a reputation of quality, sincerity and trust. Please allow us to help you at your time of need or in the future. Call today (626) 335-0615 or drop by our showroom.