Bizarre Funeral Practices from Around the World

red rose offered at a funeral

Funerals are essential rituals to say farewell to a deceased loved one. Different civilizations attach so much value to various rites of passage like birth or marriage, and a funeral is no different.

However, funeral rites across the globe may vary depending on the culture and custom of the society. There are many bizarre ceremonies out there that will shock even the most experienced undertakers with tons of personalised funeral packages to accommodate different cultures. Here are some of the most surprising practices from around the world.

Turning Your Loved One Into Colorful Beads

In South Korea, some people pay to have the remains of their loved ones converted into beads of different colours that they can then carry around with them. These beads can also be displayed in the house; so your loved one will be near you at all times.


Even though this is no longer practised, the Melanesians from Papua New Guinea and also the Wari from Brazil ate portions of their dead in a post-funeral ceremony. The concept behind this bizarre practice known as endocannibalism is that eating the remains of their loved ones gave some protection from the mystic powers of death.

Dancing With Bones

The Malagasy from Madagascar have a tradition where every seven years they exhume the remains of their loved ones, wrap them in cloth and dance with them in a celebratory parade. The remains emit the scent of decay in the first few years before the body decomposes fully. The people try to disguise the smell by spraying the bone bags with wine and telling happy stories about the deceased.

In Bali, they take the body to a humid environment (such as a forest) so the body will decompose quickly. When the body has decomposed, the family then cremates the remains.

Fantasy Coffins

coffins and caskets displayed

The people of Ghana are known to bury people in coffins that represent what the dead person did best in life. Coffins shaped as fish for fishermen, planes for pilots or even fancy shoes for people who loved to dress well are quite common.

Sky Burial By the Tibetans

Tibetan Buddhists see a corpse as an empty vessel. The body is best used as an offering to birds and animals. In this case, they chop up their dead and leave the bodies up in the hills for birds and other scavengers to feast on.

More mainstream send-off ceremonies involve mourning the loss of the loved one or in some communities celebrating a life well lived before disposing of the remains in the most hygienic way possible. More and more people are shifting traditions and shunning funeral ceremonies that are considered hazardous to health.

Every society has a way of saying their final farewells to their loved ones, and regardless of how different they are, they share this one quality: it is the last chance to pay your last respects in the most favourable ways possible. If you want to have a memorable funeral ceremony, hire a funeral service provider that can help you plan the kind of funeral ceremony you want.

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