Funeral customs

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by coppergirl, May 14, 2006.

  1. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    Yes, and the food is often provided by friends of the family or church members. The family has enough to deal with.
  2. katie_here Senior Member

    We tend to have our "wakes" in a pub, sometimes you pay the pub to provide a buffet, sometimes you make your own.
  3. Mate

    Mate Senior Member

    Castellano - Argentina
    Moderator note:

    This thread has been merged with an older one.

    New thread title: Funeral customs.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  4. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Such gatherings are very common in the US, in my experience. They're usually either catered or potluck (or a combination), and having lots of leftovers means that the family of the deceased doesn't have to worry about cooking for awhile. (Close friends will probably also continue to bring food for a few weeks.) Sometimes people bring food to these gatherings in disposable containers to make it easy to clean up, but I was taught to bring it in nice dishes with my name on them as a way of keeping in contact -- they have to return the dishes later on (or you can go pick them up), and that's another opportunity to check on how they're doing, chat, figure out what else you can do for them....

    After my grandfather's service, we had a luncheon. We set up posterboards with photos from all different times in his life, and people sat around and reminisced, told stories about him, sang one of his favorite (rather bawdy :D) songs, laughed and actually had a pretty good time, given the circumstances. It was really nice to see all the people there, and to hear all those stories about things I didn't even know he'd done....
  5. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    London, UK
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Just to give another example from Iraq, when my grandfather died (I remember all the details because at the time we were living with him), he died around 11.30 a.m.; he was washed, taken to the mosque for "the funeral prayer" and buried by 4.00 p.m. the same day.

    An open casket is out of the question, we don't even use caskets as the dead are supposed to be buried in the ground directly so we use a box just to transport the deceased to the cemetery, some people don't even use a box, the deceased is placed on a board for transportation (if any of you had seen the funeral of King Fahad of Saudi Arabic on TV, they put him on ordinary plank of wood). They are not supposed to wear anything, the clothes are removed and the deceased is washed then covered with a big white sheet (called a kafan) which covers him/her from head to toe and binded firmly on the body (using string or strips of cloth, no sewing).

    In the cemetery, after the deceased is buried Quran is recited and a few words are mentioned to remind the dead of his religion (according to Islamic beliefs) then everyone goes home. Only men attend the burial, women can visit later but women can go to the mosque for the funeral prayer.

    After that, there were three days of "condolences", where the house was full of people offering condolences and brining food, usually cooked because the idea is that the family is too sad to cook or eat so friends should help them by brining cooked food so they can eat.

    That's about it; it does indeed sound very similar to the Jewish tradition.
  6. katie_here Senior Member

    I'm interested in the concept of burying a deceased person on the same day.

    Sometimes here in the UK, and no doubt, lots of other countries too, if a person dies in suspicious circumstances there is an inquest, where an autopsy may be performed and an investigation into the details surrounding the death. Only when the coroner is satisified with the results can the burial take place.

    What happens in these circumstances in countries where the burial has to take place on the day of death?
  7. Porteño Member Emeritus

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    In the UK, providing the deceased died a natural and timely death, the funeral always seems to be a rather festive occasion where members of the family get together and, either before or after the funeral, indulge in plenty of chatting, eating and drinking. The wake seems to have virtually disappeared and the deceased is rarely, if ever, on view. On death, the deceased is moved to a funeral home, refrigerated and kept until the appointed day, which depends on how the family arranges it and sometimes on how far people may have to travel. For example, my mother died on a Tuesday and since I had to travel to the UK from Argentina, the funeral was arranged for the following Monday. A funeral is, like a wedding, often the only time when a family gets together, at least in my experience and if, as I mentioned at the outset, the death was natural and timely, the occasion is somewhat joyous. We also generally consider, or at least hope, that the person has gone to a better place so there's a good reason to be happy for them.
  8. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Wakes with an open casket were quite normal in former times, especially in rural communities - traditionally there was a three-day-wake, and the body not only was not covered but even laid out at home (!) which nowadays is not done any more (and I think even forbidden, for hygienic reasons).

    But when I was young this still was done, in the late 1970ies when I was a child:
    - three nights after the death people (acquaintancies, neighbours, friends) met at the home of the deceased and did pray for about an hour; afterwards there was some talk and some schnapps, for probably an hour or two
    - the deceased was laid out somewhere convenient, but not in the room where the wake was held
    - after three nights' wake the funeral took place; and afterwards there was the 'after-funeral-meal' for which we have an intranslatable name ('Zehrung' in my dialect) in some inn; there you ate a meal and stayed there for about a couple of hours approximately

    Today the three-nights-wakes (for Catholics; I don't know what it's like with other religions or atheist funerals as I never have been there) are held in the church, the body is laid out in a room for this purpose at or close by the cemetery (or probably somewhere in the church), and the coffin may be open or closed - as you choose, more like closed in recent times I'd say. Funeral and 'after-funeral-meal' weren't changed much as far as I can tell.
  9. katie_here Senior Member

    I know here in England, you can still have the "deceased" home before the funeral, but as to whether the casket is open or closed I've no idea. I've never been to anyones home who has done this, although in recent years I've arranged two funerals and know it was an option.
  10. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    Same in France too. According to one's religion (if any), of course.
    If the deceased is home, it is easier for relatives and friends who wish to spend a few minutes alone with him / her to do so.
    And the open casket is an option, depending on the condition of the body.

    I remember that some months after my grandmother's funeral (she was a Roman Catholic, the viewing took place at home and the casket was open), we had a conversation in my family about being able to kiss the deceased goodbye, or not. Sorry if this sounds morbid but I think it's part of the topic.

    My grandfather wanted to be buried in his garden. When he died, the family did not get a permit for that. For hygienic reasons, I assume.

    I have been at non-religious funerals. Even if no reference is made to any actual religion, there is an intense concentration and a need to relate closely to the deceased that reminds of the etymological meaning of the word 'religion'. Tying links.

    Dying is expensive. Funeral expenses amount to several thousands Euro even for a "normal", no-frill funeral.
  11. Porteño Member Emeritus

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    That's a new one to me. I've never heard of anyone doing that. Certainly among all my family and friends, the funeral has been much as described in my earlier post.
  12. katie_here Senior Member

  13. Porteño Member Emeritus

    Buenos Aires
    British English
  14. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Funerals in Brazil usually take place between 24 to 36 hours after the death. The wake generally occurs at the house of dead person's family, unless the house is too small or they live in an apartment, and the casket remains open most of the times, except in cases where the body is injured due to a traumatic death or deformed/emaciated by a long illness. The house is cleared of most furniture to accommodate the mourners, and decorated with flowers. The family receives many flower wreaths with banners on which is written a message and the name of the family who sent it. Candles are also lit by the casket, generally two or four, and they burn throughout the wake until the casket is taken away --it's a catholic tradition, but actually even non-catholics light candles at wakes in Brazil. Most families will take religious icons to the room where the dead body is being mourned: images of the Virgem Maria and the Crucifix are the most commonly seen in such occasions. There usually isn't a lot of eating and drinking, but people are always served coffee, tea, water and light refreshments, often provided by the neighbours if the family doesn't have servants. The saddest time at a wake is when the casket is closed to be taken away from the family home to the church --it's when people realize that their loved one is going for good. As the casket is being closed, mourners sometimes sing farewell religious hymns. It's not uncommon for relatives and close friends to cry profusely at this moment. In small towns the casket is taken to the church in a kind of procession; young male members of the family and friends take turns carrying it. As the procession leaves the family's house, the church bells toll and shopkeepers shut their doors as it passes the street (it is considered a major insult to the family if a shopkeeper maintains the doors of his shop open as a funeral procession passes by). Once inside the church, the casket is opened once more for the last funerary rites (the Requiem Mass), which take but a few minutes. Then the procession proceeds to the cemetery where the corpse is buried. Wealthier families will bury their relatives in large marble tombs. Some of these tombs boast columns and sculptures; some are real chambers and look like chapels, stained-glass windows and all. But these are the more traditional cemeteries; nowadays you will find cemeteries which look like golf courses: vast lawns with graves marked by small horizontal gravestones. These cemeteries can be very beautiful, with large trees and shaded paths like parks. There usually isn't any gathering after the burial. Almost as important as the funeral itself, though, is what we call Missa do Sétimo Dia (Seventh Day Mass), which is a Mass celebrated in memory of the deceased. This Mass is usually attended by all those who, for some reason, couldn't attend the funeral (which, as I mentioned earlier, usually happens within 36 hours after the death).
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  15. mirx Banned


    All of this is almost exactly my experience in México. Family members, specially women, will cry unconsolably. During the colony and postcolony, servants were asked to cry and I even heard of a group of women who were paid to go to funerals and cry, this usually had its climax during intervals everytime a prayer of the rosary was told.

    A significant difference to the Brazilian custom is that in México most funerlas take place at a funeral parlor, coffee and hot drinks are always served as well as light refreshments. People are expectced to wear black but is usually only women who respect this tradition (this is fast fading away), and the widow, if not remarried, was expected to wear black for the rest of her life.

    As far as I am concerned there are no gatherings after the burial, as the family wants to be alone and mourn their sorrows. However, there is a "novenario", this is a gathering everyday after the burial during nine days where family, close relatives, friends and neighbours will gather to pray the rosary, if the body was mourned in the decesaed´s home, 4 candles will be lit in the 4 corners that the casket previusoly occupied.

    During the burial there are always prayers that are recited between sobs and weeping, women usually faint as they can't cope with the pain of losing a dear one. The actual burial occurs only after a part of the prayers is finished and the widow/widower or some senior famlily member grabs a handful of earth and scatters it around the casket, then family and friends will copy, this is a symbol of goodbye and resignation, after all the closest people have done this the diggers start shoveling earth on the casket.

    Gravestones are not erected after a few months for the reasons exposed by maxiogee at the beginnig of this thread. And just as Macunaíma explained, there are some gravestones that look more like private churchs than thombs. Wealthier families usually buy a big plot in the cemetery and many generations of the family are buried there, these are usually mausoleum-like constructions, are locked and many have a small chapel.

    After the burial, a black big bow is placed on top of the main entrance of the deceased's house and is usually kept there for over a year. People who lost a loved one are not expected to be seen in social activities for at least some months, if close relatives are seen in parties this is very harsly frowned upon; very commonly weddings or other big events are cancelled because of the death of a close relative.

    In my state at least, in northern México, it is a legal requirement to carry out an autopsy in all dead people, unless they died in a hospital and the reasons of the death are already known. People are buried usually within 48 hours of their dead, some priests refuse to hold mass services for corpses after 4 days.

    And like some Americans described earlier in the thread, Mexican deads are also buried in their favourite clothes and with a dear personal belonging in their hands, the bodies are usually arranged by the funeral house who have people trained on putting make up on dead bodies.

    Many families hold mass services every year (for many years) on the aniversary of the death. My mother's side of the family are very keen on these customs and my uncles and aunts take a plane every year from as far as California or Mexico City just to attend the mass service.

    These traditions vary from home to home and from rural areas to urban ones, the mourning-black-clothes tradition for instance, is imposible to keep for a person who works in a business where a uniform is required.

    Also note that this is rather a semi-rural, northern Mexican, Catholic, upper-middle class tradition; I am sure there are major differences in different parts of the country and most notably amongst the different religions.

    Saludos, and I'll come back tomorrow to tell you a bit about my Mennonite neighbours.
  16. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Among Quakers, at least in my neck of the woods (Pennsylvania and New York), memorial gatherings are the usual thing.

    The gathering is similar to any Quaker meeting for worship, in that it begins in silence and people speak out of the silence if they are led to do so; it differs in that in addition to opening ourselves to the presence of God, we are remembering the life and service of the deceased. People often share their memories -- everything from tender to downright funny. There is often a potluck afterwards either at the meetinghouse or at the family's house.

    We do not wear mourning clothes. Sometimes there are flowers, but we don't encourage large displays. There are no candles and no religious symbols.

    The deceased is often cremated these days, but not always. The remains are buried or else scattered in a meaningful place, sometimes privately and sometimes during the memorial gathering. In deference to simplicity and equality, we tend to use plain gravemarkers -- a flat stone that lies flush to the ground (you can't see them until you're nearly on top of them because they're below the level of the grass around them), with just the person's name and dates of birth - death. (The old cemetery behind my meetinghouse has stones with just initials and no dates, but we're not that plain anymore. ;))
  17. katie_here Senior Member

    Thankyou everyone for your contributions. I've found it really fascinating. It has reminded me how funerals have changed over the years.

    As a child, every neighbour in the street would close their curtains on the day of the funeral until after the family returns home. Nowadays I think only the older generation bother with this. I'm always touched if I ever see a man stop and take his hat off as the funeral procession passes by, although that seems to be only the older generation.

    In the last three years I've arranged a funeral for my mother and my brother. In both instances, they were laid out in the Chapel of Rest, where an invitation was sent out to anyone who wanted to pay their last respects could. My mother had an open casket, my brother's was closed.

    The funeral service was held in our local Church of England Church, with prayers, hymns and songs particularly liked by my Mam and Brother. Later we had a short service in the crematorium, which is like a church but non-denominational and then a cremation.

    The family and guests had gathered at my home, where the courtege started out from, to church, cemetry and then to a pub run by my cousin. We had drinks, a buffet and then those that wanted to, came back to my house to continue being together and drinking/eating. My neighbours opened up their garden and home for my mother's (this was in August when the weather was really hot), and for my brother's we all stayed here in my home (that was in January). It seemed to be friends rather than aunties and uncles that wanted to stay afterwards, but surprisingly, we all had a good time at these gatherings, because it was a time to talk happily about the ones who had passed (and not about their actual dying), and for old friends to gather and catch up.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  18. No_C_Nada Senior Member

    Castillian - Perú
    That's very interesting.

    Last year, I attended a wake service for a Chinese man, in San Francisco.

    There were Chinese prayers and chanting by the monks (I'm not sure if they were Buddhists or Taoists) and lots of drumming. Then, there were eulogies in both English and Chinese.

    The following day, the deceased was buried. In the evening, there was a dinner, or rather, a banquet at a Chinese restaurant. The difference between this banquet and a banquet for any other reason is that at this banquet, you must eat all the food at the restaurant, no left-over take-outs are permitted.

    It's sort of honoring the departed with whatever food from this banquet that has not been consumed.

  19. tmoore Member

    smithfield N.C USA
    Spain- US

    They generally are for the members of the family.Also in some places in the South the neighbors ,and members of the churh bring plates of food to the house of the deceased, for the family and friends to eat. Tables full of casseroles, vegetables, ham etc desserts.... Best food ever!
  20. Julz Senior Member

    With us it's funnily similar to the Irish it appears. First of all it's often a few days between death and service (I guess low decomposition rate in the cold climate). The funeral service is a celebration of the person's life and reflection of (usually) the happier memories, etc. In the case of my mum's funeral in 2006 her favorite songs were played, one to a montage of photos from young to old and showing off the 'big' events (like holiday snaps).

    As for burial, it seems that is strictly for family members' attendance only.
  21. Lingvisten Senior Member

    In Denmark the funeral traditions have change alot.
    In the "old days", if a person died, the table in the house of the deceased was covered with a white table cloth and the windows where blinded with curtains. The body was placed on the table, and the widow would watch over him for 3 nights (if no one had died, a white table cloth, left over night, would bring dead to the family). The body was protected by all sorts of "magical" practices, such as placing an open pair of scissors on the chest. after the 3 nights, the funeral took place. When the funeral was done, it was custom to hold "gravøl", litteraly grave-beer, that is drinking for the dead.

    Today there is no nightwatch by the body, and the casket is usualy closed, and placed in front of the alter during the funeral. When the funeral is done, the relatives carry the casket into the undertakers car,and it drives away. afterwards the relatives hold "gravøl", these days mostly coffee and cakes or sandwiches.
  22. Lusitania Senior Member

    Portugal Portuguese

    Very much like in Spain.
    In the past and nowadays in some rural comunities the body is morned at home and afterwords in churches. Sometimes all night long, although many churches nowadays close the doors at night to avoid more stress for the family.
    Scattering ashes is not allowed yet. Very few people are cremated as it's still very expensive as there are very few requests and only in few cities this service is available.
    It's not common to have catering as in the US, but some agencies are delivering this service.
    Usually there are churches next to the cemetery for this purposes but still in rural communities it's natural that all the town follows the car from the church to the cemetery.
  23. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Senior Member

    Argentine Patagonia
    UK - English
    Moderator note: this post has been copied from the thread Velatorio in the Spanish/English forum.

    As with so many translation problems, there are often quite big cultural differences which mean that words carry very different connotations and one has to be very careful how they are used.

    The kind of "velatorio" I've become very accustomed to attending here in Argentina bears no similarity to the kind of "wake" one might attend in UK. For a start, the "velatorio" is before the funeral whereas a "wake", as pointed out by cirrus, is afterwards. All and sundry turn up to "pay their respects", both to the mourners and to the deceased - the coffin may be still open or already closed. It was the first time I had ever seen a dead body, and quite a shock! It's quite a social thing, a lot of "being seen" and "being seen to be doing the right thing" by attending, if only briefly to mumble something clumsily to the bereaved and sidle up to the coffin and bow one's head reverently.

    The family generally install themselves in a "family room" at the funeral parlour to be able to be on hand to receive all-comers and wait for the time appointed for the funeral - usually the day after the death, so the "velatorio" shares something of the old-fashioned "all-night vigil", but many here choose to close the doors overnight for security, as it's the done thing for all and sundry to call in "as a mark of respect", unless it's specifically publicised as "family and friends only" etc.

    The funeral parlour usually offers a very discreet and minimal refreshment service, tea/coffee/refilling thermoses with hot water for mate, etc. That is NOT what is meant in English by "funeral services", which would be interpreted as the religious ceremony before committing the body to burial/cremation.

    A "wake", as cirrus says, is after the funeral, and usually for family and closest friends/colleagues, discreetly invited to "come along afterwards". This is generally only called a wake if it's the kind of gathering that turns into a prolonged drinking session, as cirrus says, and depending on the people involved! The awkward polite cup of tea and a sandwich would hardly be worthy of the term "wake", IMHO!

    Sorry to go into so much detail, but some of the comments by Spanish-speakers above seem to be quite unaware that the English-speaking world is strongly influenced by protestant cultural traditions as opposed to the predominant Catholicism of the Spanish-speaking world. This means that not only the traditions and activities associated with these essentially religious ceremonies, but the words used to describe and refer to them, may differ greatly or take on different meanings, or simply not exist. That's of prime importance to us when translating, and so hard for one who has perhpas never experienced the word in its natural setting and everyday use, in the other country/culture.

    I hope these comments and insights help anyone trying to make sense of this particular word. It's certainly not meant as a criticism of the comments that were a little wide of the mark, just sharing personal experience that might help shed light and enable others to at least get a feel of what it's about.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  24. ahshav Senior Member

    English, Hebrew
    That is similar to the practice in Israel, except that caskets are used very rarely. The only time I know caskets are always used is for soldiers.

    Someone also asked about a Jewish custom installing the tombstone a year after burial and about placing small stones on the tombstone. Without too much delving into ritual, mourning periods (apart from the initial week - shiva) are either 30 days or a year. It is customary for the tombstone to be revealed at a graveside memorial at the end of such a period. The stones are placed out of respect, to show that someone has visited, and a sign of permanence (more here -

    Regarding same day burial and cases that demand autopsies, investigations, etc. I can only comment on Israel (where burial is almost always same-day) - sometimes criminal investigations receive greater priority, and the funeral is delayed. This is not so rare, as funerals are not held on most Jewish holidays, and have to be delayed for such events, as well.
  25. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Actually, Grey Fox's description of a velatorio is precisely the usual wake in the US, too (my description above of Quaker funerals notwithstanding), and I was surprised to read that it is not done that way in the UK. I guess there is no single standard for wakes in the English-speaking world. :)
  26. vivita28 Senior Member

    colombia español
    In Colombia, we use to say goodbye to our dear death people we call it 'velar' or the 'velación'or 'velorio' and we drink lots of coffee. This is a day before the funeral, so people can say I'm sorry to closer relatives.
  27. No_C_Nada Senior Member

    Castillian - Perú

    What are the present customs for funerals in Greece? How do they differ from ancient Greece customs?
  28. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    In Catholic Central Europe the customs seem to be similar.
    open-casket (more common in the country)
    after the service meal, we call it halotti tor in Hungarian.
  29. acemach Member

    Malaysia - English & Mandarin
    Most Chinese-Malaysian funeral ceremonies differ greatly, but all are usually filled with prayers and many ceremonies. I am not sure if these are still practised in China, as some traditional Chinese rites and festivals here are no longer observed there.

    The funeral is filled constantly with prayers and rituals lasting hours. Let me try super-summarising it.

    The full funeral lasts 3, 5 or 7 days. 5 is I think the most common. Throughout these 5 days, the entire family of the deceased stay at the funeral parlour, home of the deceased, or wherever it's held, taking it in shifts to burn offerings or fold paper ingots without cease. During these 5 days visitors and friends will come to pay their respects by burning incense and praying before the body of the deceased, which is placed in the coffin with the top open.

    I had to be there at my grandmother's funeral 4 years ago and my uncle's 2 years later. Every day and night the priest would come to conduct rituals with varying degrees of complexity, often involving us making more offerings, burning more incense and so on. This would come down to a sort of climax on the last night, where there would be a kind of opera, with a full band playing traditional instruments. The priest sang hymns in Teochew, my ancestral dialect, which i was told detailed the spirit's journey into the afterworld. We would follow the priest's instructions and the 'opera' would last very late into the night.

    On the morning of the last day the casket would be nailed shut, more prayers then carried to the cemetery and all the relatives would accompany it, on foot in my case.

    Throughout the funeral, there is a very strict taboo on the colour of clothing that can and cannot be worn. We had to wear only black and white for 5 days. The range of colours and taboo activities differs based on the degree of relation with the deceased, and according to generation as well. It is observed for a month after the burial as part of the mourning period. No weddings among the immediate family would be allowed for the next 2 years.

    The one who takes the lead in the rituals is usually the eldest son of the deceased. Generally at a funeral the family in mourning is supposed to convey an air of 'untidiness' or an 'unkempt' appearance as a result of their grief.

    If the deceased is more than 100 years old, mourning is FORBIDDEN. The relatives have to wear red (reserved for happy occasions) during the funeral and are forbidden to cry (i doubt anyone still follows that).

    The coffin is put in a prominent place with a makeshift altar in front of it. We have to continuously burn a string of paper offerings in a box (5 days!!) to 'guide' its spirit on.

    It differs according to family tradition and probably dialect groups, but not by much. All I can say is that it is a very long, complicated, costly, arcane, and rather exhausting process. But at the end it seemed like a fitting send-off to me. Truly something you have to be a part of to understand.

  30. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    I had an interesting conversation the other day about death. I was told that children are used to be buried in white coffins. The person who told me is from Spain but I think she also spoke from Mexico, where she resides now.
    My question is related to a topic she said; she told me that among "deaths", the "worst" is the one form a child (much more sadness and pain). She told me that's the reason coffins for children are white.
    I hadn't paid attention to this fact; probably because I have never attended a child's burial.
    Is the use of white coffins a common custom? Is this only from some areas or across the globe? What's the meaning of the color, why white? (are they representing "angels", innocence, "purity"?

  31. Ivonne do Tango

    Ivonne do Tango Senior Member

    En un cafetín de Buenos Aires
    Porteño de arrabal
    No conozco mucho sobre funerales, sólo he estado en el de mi padre y en el de un desconocido.

    Las tradiciones aquí en Argentina, al igual que en otros países, son muy variadas dependiendo del dinero y las creencias religiosas. Muchos prefieren la forma sencilla, supongo, sin mucha ceremonia, directo al cementerio y un breve encuentro entre familiares, si los hay. Otros tantos prefieren la cremación y que sus cenizas sean esparcidas por alguna tierra, río o mar.

    Ayer falleció un ícono del arte lationamericano, Mercedes Sosa (cuyos restos serán esparcidos en Tucumán -tierra que la vio nacer- y en Mendoza -donde vivió con su primer marido, una tierra que la vio amar-). Hubo una ceremonia que duró todo el día en el Congreso de la Nación, la gente iba a dedicarle su adiós. A cajón abierto pasaron diferentes personalidades del arte, la política y la cultura en general a saludarla. Suelen ser muy emotivos y a pesar de la gran producción que hay detrás, el acto suele ser simple y acogedor.


  32. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Since most Venezuelans are Catholic the tradition followed is similar to other Latin American countries. I've never been to a funeral but I'd take somebody's death with a different approach. I'm not the only who sees it like this and even my uncle would like the family to bid farewell to him in this way. I believe that when somebody dies people shouldn't cry or mourn that person in a funeral, they should throw a party, wear colorful clothes, play joyful music, laugh and bid farewell to that person with joy remembering them with great, funny and happy memories. No sad faces, no crying. And if the person wants to cry because they'll miss them they should do it alone at home for themselves. That'd be an awesome way to say goodbye to somebody :). But this is probably something you don't find in most countries.
  33. name my name

    name my name Senior Member

    I do not know the tradition about other parts of China, but generally speaking in China most are the same.
    I will speak for my village.
    The funeral will usually last for three days. The first two days, the body of the departed will be put in the living room, and people from the whole village will come and say goodbye to the departed. Their relatives will cry over the coffin and tell about the old stories. And the two nights, the closest families will sit around and accompany the dead.
    If the departed is a very old man or woman, people will celebrate it as if it is a blessing. Because in our tradition, people will live longer are blessed, so when they leave this world, most people should not be too sad about it. (I know this might be weird in western cultures). But the closest families might be sad and cry. The music and everything arranged should be in a happy mood anyway.
    If the departed is a young man or woman, people should not do it as the above case. Everything will be in a dark mood as this person is not supposed to leave the world.
    If the departed is a kid, there should not be a funeral at all. The kid will be buried right away far away from the living place. And other relatives are not allowed to visit this dead kid after his or her death. I myself do not even understand this one, but it seems to be mutually agreed without saying.
    During the three funeral days, neighbors or relatives will bring some gifts for the dead, namely money (of course fake one) and crackers to let the dead know"I am here to see you". We believe that the dead will live the same life like we do in real life. So they need money too. These money will be sent to the dead by being burnt.
    On the last day, the dead will be buried and people will go home. Before the dead is buried, the vehicle which carries the dead will circle around the village, and every one will be back at home to welcome the arrival of the dead. When the dead comes, neighbors will light some crackers to welcome the dead passing their home. And the relative will bow to the neighbors with the gifts to thank the neighbors for caring.
    P.S. During the whole process, two types of people must be there: First, a shifu of taoism. He will do some ritual stuff by saying something to send the soul of the dead to heaven.
    Second, there would be two types of band, one with Chinese music instruments and other one with Western instruments. The "Chinese group" will play for the dead so that the dead would not feel alone. The "western group" will play for the living so that the living people will feel the dead is around and the music is usually to remind the goodness of the dead.

    All in all, there are a lot of rituals in it........I even cannot explain with details. Will write more when I am free later.
  34. Ёж! Senior Member

    Maybe. But joy is not the best that is in the world, is it? Maybe this is why people don't laugh to death at funerals. They remember what is good.
    (Just like the feeling of disaster is not the best thing, of course. In this I agree with you).
  35. Kaxgufen

    Kaxgufen Senior Member

    La Plata, Argentina
    Castellano de Argentina
  36. jugen

    jugen Senior Member

    English USA
    Querid@s forer@s, estoy escribiendo (en inglés) un diario ficticio en el cual los cadáveres de unas víctimas del hundimiento de un edificio en obras son velados por sus familiares en el Depósito judicial la noche siguiente al incidente y anterior a su entierro. Esto tiene lugar en Madrid en 1930. Mi pregunta: las cajas de las víctimas ¿estarían abiertas o cerradas en el velorio, tanto en el Depósito judicial como en el cortejo fúnebre público? Es importante este detalle porque mi protagonista es judía y nosotros amortajamos al cadáver y cerramos la caja.

    Otra preguntita: ¿Dónde está la omega con los acentos y las tildes?

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