So many countries have their own funeral rituals. Some are more unusual than others! As it becomes increasingly popular to personalise funeral plans, here are some truly unique customs from around the world. We offer these out of curiosity rather than recommendation, as some are quite shocking!

8 Unusual Funeral Traditions

Ocean Reef Memorial – an American company incorporates a person’s ashes into a cement sphere – known as a reef ball – and places it on the seabed. The reef ball becomes a permanent home for local sea life.

Bespoke Coffins – in Ghana, people like to be buried in coffins that represent their lives or profession. Caskets are shaped like animals, ships, cars – even an aeroplane.

Skull Burial – people on the Pacific island Kiribati lay out their dead in their homes. After 12 days, the person is buried. Months after the burial, the body is dug up and the skull removed. This is then polished and cleansed – then displayed in their home.

Dressed to Impress – The Tinguian people of the Philippines dress the dead person in their best clothes, sit them on a chair, place a cigarette between their lips – and then light the cigarette.

Public Cremation – US state of Colorado has a legal, public open-air cremation facility. Mourners can add logs to the funeral pyre.

Burial Beads – in South Korea, the body of the deceased is compressed into coloured beads. The beads are usually coloured black, pink or a shiny blue or green – and then displayed in loved ones’ homes.

Pick a Tree – when people of the Caviteño culture in the Philippines are dying, they go into the woods and pick a tree. Their family builds a tree hut. When the person dies, their body is entombed vertically within the hollowed tree trunk.

Glowing Buddhas – Japan’s cremation rate is 99.9%. One crematorium has a novel way of helping mourners to find the ashes of their loved ones. Each deceased person has a glowing Buddha statue. The statues glow blue – except for the visiting mourner’s Buddha which glows white. This shows exactly where the deceased family member is located.  

It is possible to say goodbye your way without going to the extremes of the above funeral traditions. If your loved one has not given details of their funeral wishes, our friendly team is available to discuss options with you. We’ll find a way to provide the ideal funeral for your loved one.

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