Funeral Differences Essay

1571 words - 7 pages

Funeral Traditions in America from Around The World

America has many traditions, but one tradition that many don’t like to speak of is funerals. A funeral is when a loved one has passed and there is a celebration of life and put to rest, in this case with many traditions around the world there are different ways of remembering ones loved one when passing. America is a big continent where many people from around the world live in and bring their traditions with them and still continue them here, and one of those traditions is a funeral.
To begin with one of the popular traditions that are regular to do in most places like in the article that Marian T. Horvat states is in the past, the ...view middle of the document...

Embalming is a preparation that is done to the body to keep it from decaying. This is something that is not required by law but in some states only. In this article Horvat also gives a small explanations on embalming and what countries started to actually use it and in others they don’t use it. In most Catholic countries of Europe and South America, it is not the custom to embalm. For example, in Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Malta, as well as throughout South and Central America, embalming practices are not used. Only recently was the custom introduced in Spain and Germany (sec. funeral customs). This is the main tradition that is used most common.
One of many funeral traditions that are also done in America that are quite different from the regular American traditions are the Chinese and their ways of doing their own way of their funerals. Chinese families prepare themselves for a funeral. According to the article from about news, announcements of the funeral are sent in the form of invitations. For most Chinese funerals, the invitations are white. If the person was age 80 or older, then the invitations are pink. Living until 80 or beyond is considered a feat worth celebrating and mourners should celebrate the person’s longevity rather than mourn (Chinese funeral traditions 1). Their wakes are a little different than the regular tradition. Chinese funerals as well have wakes either at a home or the funeral home, only that their wakes may last several days but they are expected to have a an overnight vigil for at least one day while the decedents pictures, flowers, and candles are placed around the body and the family sits and waits. A tradition for the Chinese is to take funeral flowers that are white, but the traditional flower is the Iris. Another tradition is also bringing cash to the family in a white envelope. The reason for a white envelope to be given to the family is because a white is the color reserved for death in the Chinese culture. The amount of money put in the envelope varies depending on the relationship to the deceased but must be in odd numbers. The money is meant to help the family pay for the funeral. If the deceased person was employed, his or her company is often expected to send a large flower wreath and sizeable monetary contribution (Chinese funeral traditions 1). When it comes to the burial in the cemetery in this tradition there are some more steps the Chinese do than just a regular burial. In the about news article states, at the funeral, the family will burn joss paper to ensure their loved one has a safe journey to the netherworld. Fake paper money and miniature items like cars, houses, and televisions are burned. A eulogy may be given and, if the person was religious, prayers may also be said (Chinese funeral traditions 1).
Funeral traditions with Buddhism is very different as well, in their beliefs each person passes through reincarnations. One tradition that is still the same like every...

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