Five Fascinating Funeral Traditions From Around the Globe

Here in Pennsylvania, we know exactly what to expect from a funeral procession. Solemn funerals and cheap cremations in Montgomery County are the norm. However, different cultures each have their own unique way to celebrate the end of life. Read on to learn more about five fascinating funeral traditions that vary wildly from the burials and cremations we typically see.

  • South Korean burial beads. After a law passed in 2000 required South Korean families to remove the graves of their loved ones after 60 years (due to dwindling graveyard space), cremations and nontraditional end-of-life celebrations gained popularity. In particular, companies compressing remains into vividly-colored “death beads” have popped up, allowing customers an easy and beautiful way to honor their loved one within the home.
  • Tibetan sky burials. Vajrayana Buddhists in Tibet believe that when a loved one passes on, the body becomes an empty vessel and the soul moves onto the afterlife. To make the transition easier, Tibetans cut the body into pieces and hold a ceremony atop a mountain — a practice that has been done for thousands of years.
  • Eccentric Balinese cremation ceremonies. Cremations on the Hindu island of Bali vary wildly from the low cost cremation services in Montgomery County we’ve come to know. According to Balinese tradition, the cremation process sets the soul free. The cremation processions in Bali often take place inside ornate wooden statues of animals or palaces, signifying the transition into the glory of the afterlife.
  • Ghana’s “fantasy coffins.” In the West African nation of Ghana, “fantasy coffins” that represent something the deceased loved in life have become wildly popular. From a gigantic green fish representing the life of a fisherman who loved the sea to a Mercedes Benz coffin for a successful businessman, funerals in Ghana often feature some crazy coffins.
  • American “reef balls.” There are even some new funeral traditions gaining speed right here in the United States. One company, Eternal Reefs, offers men and women the opportunity to live on after their death by compressing remains into a sphere that is then attached to a coral bed in the ocean. The so-called “reef ball” then provides an environmentally-friendly home for sea creatures.

If you have a loved one that has passed on, McCafferty Funeral Home is here to help you honor their memory. Call us anytime at 215-531-5014 for immediate attention.