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Odd Funeral, Death Rituals and Customs , Part 4

In Africa, mourners return to the home of their family following the burial of the deceased. Once they arrive at the gate of their home, they are expected to wipe the dust that came from the graveyard from their feet. To prevent bad luck, some mourners place pieces of an aloe plant in water. Christians might also sprinkle mourners with holy water as a method of purification. In this article, you will encounter death rituals and traditions associated with Cambodia, Thailand, early Roman times, and Hawaii.

20) Locals in Cambodia and Thailand build “spirit houses” out of wood, which are found all over the country, from the poorest of residents to the richest. Here, food and drink are left behind from time to time to satisfy the souls of relative that have since departed. When leaving an offering, relatives usually ask for the spirits to keep an eye out for their lands and the family members still living.

21) Some people place pieces of cloth soaked in baking soda and water over the face of a corpse in an attempt to keep the face looking alive and fresh.

22) In the past, Romans followed both cremations and burials during their death rituals. During ceremonies that dealt with cremation, the body was not the only thing cremated; the belongings of the deceased were also burned. Ashes were stored in a container and then buried at the cemetery. If the deceased was poor and could not pay for a proper cremation, their family would do the cremation at their own home and keep the ashes. If a burial were planned for a poor relative, then family and friends would pitch in to come up with enough money for the burial.

23) In Africa, it is believed that anyone that comes in contact with a dead body is unclean. Additionally, any object that a corpse has touched is also considered unclean. It doesn’t matter what the item , it could be a blanket, piece of clothing, eating utensils, tables, and chairs. Depending on how the family feels about it, the clothing of the deceased is either tied up with a string for the period of one year and then given to various family members or burned.

24) When passing a funeral procession, it is customary in some places for all hats to be removed out of respect. When other vehicles pass by, they should stop. Not only do these actions show signs of respect, but they are also an attempt to please any spirits that may torment spirit of the dead when they reach the afterlife.

25) In ancient Hawaii, death was a serious part of the life cycle, especially when it came to members of royalty (such as a king, queen or high chief). When an individual belonging to the royal family passes away, the locals entered a period of deep mourning. Their reactions to the death were quite intense. Some people simply wept or mourned, while others cut their hair, knocked out teeth, or scarred their skin. Some locals even went as far as to cut off one of their ears.