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The death of a loved one is a universal event that transcends cultural boundaries. However, the way societies commemorate and honor their deceased may vary considerably from one culture to another. Funeral rituals, imbued with symbolism and profound meaning, reflect the beliefs, values and traditions of each community. Discover the different funeral rituals around the world.

The funeral pyre in India: In Hindu tradition, the body of the deceased is cremated on a funeral pyre in a ceremony called "Antyesti". The ashes are then scattered in a sacred river, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life and death.

Towers of Silence in Iran: In the Zoroastrian religion, the dead are placed atop towers of silence, exposed to the elements and scavenging birds. This practice is designed to prevent contamination of the earth and water, considered sacred.

Mausoleums in Egypt: Ancient Egypt is famous for its imposing pyramids, where pharaohs were buried with treasures and objects for their journey to the afterlife. Today, Egyptians still practice complex funeral rituals, including extended mourning ceremonies.

Cremation in Europe: In many European cultures, cremation has become common practice. Ashes are often preserved in urns and can be scattered in places meaningful to the deceased.

Green Funerals in the U.S.: In response to the environmental impact of traditional burials, green funerals are gaining in popularity. This includes reducing the use of chemicals and promoting natural burial in nature conservation sites.

The Cortège in Africa: In Africa, funerals are often the occasion for grandiose celebrations, involving lively processions, dancing and singing. The deceased are honored with joyous festivities that reflect their heritage and positive impact on the community.

Rapprochement Ceremonies in Mexico: The Day of the Dead(Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican celebration where families pay tribute to their deceased loved ones by creating altars decorated with flowers, photos and offerings. It's a vibrant celebration of life and death.

Each funeral ritual, unique in its form and intent, bears witness to the way different cultures approach death and pay tribute to those who have crossed the veil. These rituals are deeply rooted in the history and spirituality of each community, and serve as a reminder that the way we honor our deceased can be a powerful testament to our common humanity.

Read more What are the different funeral rituals around the world? - Funeral rituals from yesterday to today

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