For most people reading this, the familiar rituals and practices surrounding death are fairly standard – the wake, the funeral, embalming or cremation, burial – but this is not the norm in all parts of the world. The many ways in which humans take care of their loved ones after death, as well as the practices leading up to death, vary greatly around the globe. These 11 traditions might make your skin crawl, but for other people they are just a normal part of life.
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In some rural parts of The Philippines and China, people believe that it is best to be laid to rest as close to heaven as possible – literally. Rather than burying them below ground, locals suspend their loved ones’ coffins from the side of cliffs where they hang indefinitely.
Self-mummification was practiced by Buddhist monks in Northern Japan between the 11th and 19th centuries. Meant as a demonstration of ultimate austerity, practitioners of sokushinbutsu would shed their body fat and fluids through a diet of tree bark and poisonous tea, then lock themselves in a tomb where the monk would remain in the lotus position and meditate until death.
A traditional practice on the island of Fiji dictated that when a man died, his wife should typically be killed along with him by strangulation. The idea was partly to ensure that the deceased would be surrounded by loved ones in the afterlife, but also because the Fijian god Ruvuyalo was believed to kill the spirits of men not accompanied in death by their wives.
This is a funeral method still widely practiced by Tibetan Buddhists, though due to multiple factors including sanitation, ease of modern cremation and a decimated vulture population, the practice is in decline. For a sky burial, the body will be laid out on a mountainside, either intact or dissected into smaller pieces, and left for vultures to feast on. The idea is to dispose of a person’s remains in a manner which nourishes other life and to reinforce the Buddhist notion of impermanence.
The Wari’ people of Brazil traditionally practiced a form of ceremonial cannibalism in which the family of the deceased would roast and consume part of the body. This was intended as a sign of respect and to ensure that the departed’s soul would live on in the bodies of loved ones rather than wander alone forever. This tradition eventually faded away, and today the Wari’ no longer practice mortuary cannibalism.
Tree burials were practiced by a number of populations around the world including certain Native American tribes and Aboriginal Australians. Groups from Australia would often leave the body to decompose in a tree for several months, then eventually retrieve the bones, paint them with red ochre and use them as the centerpiece of a funeral complete with dancing and a processional.
Tower of Silence
In the Zoroastrian religion, the bodies of the deceased are considered unclean and should not be buried or cremated so as not to pollute the elements. Instead, adherents traditionally built elevated structures called Towers of Silence on which corpses could be laid out and exposed for scavenging birds (much like in a sky burial). Some conservative Zoroastrians still use the Towers, though a rapidly declining vulture population in India and modern laws against ritual exposure in Iran, as well as changing attitudes among modern followers, mean that the practice is not common today.
Source : https://www.lolwot.com/11-strange-and-fantastic-death-related-traditions-from-around-the-world/