Mar 10, 2021
1.American traditional funeral
At most American funerals, the family members of the deceased will issue a death announcement, telling relatives and friends of the deceased’s personal information, and the time and date of the funeral. In church service, the pastor will give a speech, and then the deceased is usually praised by friends and family. Family or friends walked to the front of the crowd and talked about the life of the deceased and how the deceased affected their lives. Then there will be a parade. The parade usually uses caravans modified from private cars and trucks that follow hearses, carrying the coffins and remains of the dead.
In the cemetery, there is another small ceremony where the dead will be blessed by the clergy. Then allow friends and family to say goodbye to the dead. The family and friends of the deceased saw their relatives for the last time and said goodbye. The first to say goodbye is the brothers and sisters, then the spouse, then the parents and children, and finally the friends of the deceased.
There is an American tradition of picking up a handful of soil and throwing it on the coffin as a way of saying goodbye to the dead. Then, the family gathers at home or in a restaurant to have dinner with the guests. Most American cultures have adopted this traditional American funeral ceremony.
The United States has a special funeral contractor's association guaranteeing supervision of this industry.
With the rise of the funeral industry, coffin manufacturers have also begun to emerge in the industry. Previously, coffins were made of wood, but now people can pre-purchase their own coffins or those of their loved ones. Modern people have begun to choose materials other than wood. The most common material choices are metal and steel.
Americans regard the tomb as one of their property like houses and vehicles. You can keep it for your own use, or you can buy and sell it. There are brokers in each cemetery, who are responsible for the selection of tombs by customers. The cemetery varies in size, and the larger one has a radius of one thousand acres, so the agent needs to drive the car to take customers around the base, introducing the tomb for sale and the surrounding scenery and topography. The cemetery has a tomb for burial coffins, a tomb for the burial of ashes, and niches for storing ashes. Customers can buy them. The installment contract of some cemeteries stipulates that if the buyer dies before the final payment is paid, he can be buried in the cave, and the remaining payment is allowed to be waived.
It is worth mentioning that a friend told reporters an interesting story about the hearse parade she saw. The car used to transport the coffin in the United States is very special. The rear part of the low-rise RV is lengthened and it is very neatly packed. A police motorcycle cleared the way for the coffin truck, followed by a long string of convoys. Unknown people inside thought it was a big person who had funerals. In such big pomp, they are actually the most ordinary people. The people driving around gave way slowly, there were absolutely no impatience horns, and the whole atmosphere was very respectful and solemn. The relatives of the deceased should contact the police in advance, and the police will maintain the order of the convoy free of charge so that the deceased can enjoy the last preferential treatment of saying goodbye to the world.
In the United States, burial is still more popular. The cemeteries are mixed in residential and commercial areas. There are no graves. You can see only a small stone with flowers or beautiful small windmills on it. My friend explained that everyone has to end their life in the cemetery after all. The cemetery is the ideal neighbor, not noisy, and there are no strangers coming and going, how good! In community parks, you will always see words commemorating someone engraved on a marble stool, and the content is mostly the births and deaths of the deceased, and short blessings left by relatives.
In the United States today, dead people are still a big expense. Even the cheapest coffin costs $500. In addition, plastic surgery for the dead costs hundreds of dollars; the arrangement of the hearse costs hundreds of dollars, and the funeral host costs hundreds of dollars. The sum of these items is a considerable sum, even if cremation is not less than 1,000 dollars.
Although traditional funerals in religious forms have always been dominant in the United States, the trend of holding secular funerals has also appeared, especially the number of people who are cremated after funerals is increasing. According to statistics, in the past few years, the number of people cremated has increased from 6% to nearly 10%.
2. European countries have different funeral customs
France is a country with a long Catholic tradition, and its citizens are used to burial. The reason is simple: Catholicism believes in the "last judgment". After death, believers must lie quietly in the "resurrection valley", waiting to be judged by God for a final destination-whether to go to heaven or go to hell. If a person's body is cremated, he will not go to the Resurrection Valley, and he will lose the opportunity to go to heaven. Obviously, the Catholics who are not devout want to be cremated. Catholics refuse to be cremated, but prefer to directly "get into the soil." Therefore, cremation is not a common choice for people in France.
Spain and France belong to the Romance language family and have a long Catholic tradition. The characteristic of funerals in Spain is that most residents will join a funeral name insurance from the age of 20 and pay for life until they die. "Funeral insurance" is a social insurance project, together with housing insurance and vehicle insurance, it is a whole. For most Spaniards, the automatic pledge of this insurance is a routine, which is not surprising. Therefore, the funeral industry in Spain is extremely prosperous. Insurance companies directly control several major funeral homes. Coupled with a large number of insured persons, funeral expenses are naturally relatively cheap.
In addition, Europeans still maintain the custom of guarding spirits, especially in Spain. There, the funeral will be held the next day after death, because the deceased cannot be allowed to feel a moment of loneliness, and all the family members will come to guard the spirit to accompany.
In Italy, which belongs to the Latin culture, especially in the southern regions of the Apennines, the issuance of funeral obituaries is a major event and is highly valued by people. In suburbs or rural villages and towns, the obituary of the deceased will be posted on the public notice board of the government office. The location is often chosen not far from the deceased’s home, and as close as possible to the business district, church, market, post office, and other pedestrians. This is faster and more effective than posting an obituary in the newspaper. The purpose is to hope that more people will know that someone has passed away and try to get as many people as possible to attend the funeral.
In Germany, which pays attention to environmental protection, the deceased can enjoy the "green cemetery", and the United Kingdom has done a better job in this respect-they will let the deceased sleep peacefully in the "natural cemetery". In the British Isles, the number of such ecological cemeteries has reached 200, accounting for 10% of the entire funeral land. In the ecological cemetery, the body of the deceased is wrapped in natural fibers, and the use of chemical fragrance preservatives is prohibited. The coffin is made of unprocessed wood. The tombstone is also quite hidden, and trees are planted around it. The choice of "natural cemetery" shows a philosophy of life advocated by the British, which is to leave as few traces as possible in the environment after death.
3. Funeral customs in different countries in Asia
Hanging coffins is a special burial custom in Sagada, Philippines. People put the dead into a hollow log and hang the log on the cliff. Usually, the coffins of well-off adults can be placed in caves, while the coffins of children and poor people can only be hung on the cliff. According to the old local saying, the higher, a person's coffin hangs, the closer the soul of the deceased can be to heaven.
It takes manpower and material resources to place the hanging coffin. People first tie a safety rope for themselves, and then a few people work together to slowly consign and place the coffin, and then everyone will mourn the death of their loved ones together. Today, this special funeral is almost extinct. The last time a hanging coffin was placed was in 2008. Since then, the hanging coffin has been banned by the local government.
The Indians' choice of water burial is inseparable from the long-held tradition. The place of water burial is the Ganges River, which is also the holy river in India. Buddhism and Hinduism regard the Ganges River as a sacred symbol, which carries the past, present, and future lives of Indians. They believe that Shiva often patrols along the Ganges River. Anyone who is buried here after death can avoid the suffering of reincarnation and directly ascend to heaven.
Water burials in India are divided into ashes-spreading and corpse-floating. The rich use the ashes-spreading method, while the poor can only choose the corpse-floating method. Since the cost of cremation at the crematorium is about US$40, which is much higher than the monthly salary of a poor person, in India, where the gap between rich and poor is growing, most of the poor will choose to put their bodies directly in the Ganges for water funerals.
The result of the water funeral is that when the water level of the Ganges drops, hundreds of corpses will float on the river. This has attracted great attention from the government. An official Shukla said: "After all legal procedures are completed, these corpses will be buried to avoid the spread of disease."
In this regard, the Indian government has to continue to study relevant measures to solve the problem of floating corpses in the Ganges.
The Nepalese still retain the traditional custom of open-air cremation. There are dozens of crematoriums in Kathmandu, the largest of which is located in the Pashupati Temple. The temple is a three-story building across the banks of the Bagmati River. The riverbank under the temple is an open-air crematorium. There are dozens of square and round stone platforms. The square platforms are used to burn corpses, and the round platforms are used to pay tribute to the dead.
Japanese society does not shy away from talking about death, and many people actively plan their own funerals. Among them, "cosmic burial" is becoming more and more popular. The Japanese funeral industry said that the people are full of longing for the universe, and the potential market value of cosmic funerals is worth developing.