/Funeral Rites and Rituals Around the World

Japan has a cremation rate of over 99%, the highest of any country in world. Some local governments even ban traditional burials. This was not always the case – before World War II, cremation was only practised by the very rich, but after the positives of cremation, including its efficiency and cleanliness, became recognised, cremation [...]

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For many mourners, long gone are the days of sombre dress and tear-filled handkerchiefs. Today many of the last requests of the dearly departed are becoming increasingly unusual as the traditional funeral rites are beginning to be seen as stuffy and not in line with how the deceased wishes to be remembered. Continue reading “Unusual [...]

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Ancient Chinese traditions that have existed since 1,556 B.C. inform a cultural thinking that the souls of the dead exist in another world, but that they can visit the Earth by resting in their graves. In a sense, a grave becomes a home away from their new home. This basic line of thinking has led [...]

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There are many ways to honour a passed loved one after the process of cremation. Some find immense comfort scattering ashes in a person’s favourite spot, or perhaps more commonly, by selecting a beautiful urn designed and decorated to honor the deceased. In South Korea however, a fascinating technique is transforming the remains themselves into [...]

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Many of the islands of the Pacific have maintained a strong connection to their cultural religious beliefs, despite the historical influence of many Christian missions. In Papua New Guinea, when a death occurs, a medium is called in to determine the cause or to identify the sorcerer or witch who may have been involved. Rituals [...]

The stars have fascinated mankind since the dawn of history, and many of the most ancient funeral rites take the movement of heavenly bodies into account. However it’s only very recently that it’s been possible for a person to find their final resting place among the stars. A company called Elysium Space and Celestis Inc. [...]

According to archaeological evidence, funeral rites were one of the very first elements of human culture to emerge. Funeral rites can be found in every culture, both ancient and contemporary, although of course these rites differ considerably between different parts of the world and distinct spiritual/religious traditions. Sometimes even the funeral choices of people from [...]

While many people continue to consider burial or cremation, others are looking into another option: body donation. In short, this is the act of donating your body to science as opposed to being buried or cremated. There is no denying that you will eventually come in contact with somebody who is interested in donating their [...]

The Atlantis Reef sits approximately 5.2 km off the coast of the Florida Keys.  This man-made reef was originally created in 2007 as a safe-haven for marine life in the wake of so many marine reef habitats being destroyed thanks to human activity and large coastal storms, not to mention an attraction for divers and [...]

Often referred to as one of the most spectacular and interesting Balinese ceremonies, the “Ngaben,” or cremation, is a religious rite of Hindu descent, although it’s quite a bit different to death ceremonies found in India.   In order for the deceased’s soul to move on to the afterlife and into the ancestral divine realm, a [...]