10 Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions in the World

This is a list of some interesting and weird rituals in which people belonging to different cultures disposed their loved ones to the God, after they have ceased to live. Some bury their loved ones while others burn them. But there are some never heard of most bizarre funeral traditions in the world that you are going to be shocked after knowing. Read ahead to know about these shocking death rituals and traditions from around the globe.

10. Famadihana

Bizarre Funeral Traditions
Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. Known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts and rewrap them in fresh cloth, than dance with the corpses around the tomb to live music. This is a way of the Malagasy people to remember their dead relatives and loved ones from time to time. These people dig out the remains of their dead one’s body at regular intervals and wrap them in fresh clothes. They bury them again after carrying them around their villages.

9. Tree-Bound

This tradition simply involved tying the dead to the ancient trees found among the village of the deceased. This ritual is probable to be practiced by people who are atheist and do not follow any certain set of traditions and culture. This ensures that their dead ones are always in the hearts of the people and the ritual is a way of reminding others that they must prepare for death and the live thereafter.

8. Hanging of Coffins

Hanging of Coffins
This ancient ritual practiced by the old Chinese Dynasties involved the displaying of coffins on high rock cliffs. They believe that coffins need to be close to the sky so that their dead can be closer to heaven. The coffins were actually discovered by the archaeologists among the remains of these ancient civilizations. Setting of coffins meant that the still thought of their dead in the highly respectable positions and their ghosts and spirits are free to roam around the hills and rocks.

7. Mass Scavenging

Mass Scavenging
This ancient ritual practice by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The ritual involves throwing all the dead people in a vicinity of town, village or city in one pit and then letting wild animals loose for them to feed on the dead bodies. This way the relatives do not need to perform any other methods like burial and cremation. Disposing of the bodies through this method lets the dead live only in one form in the hereafter and they have no belongings in the real world, not even their own bodies.

6. Exposing Dead to Vultures

Bizarre Funeral Traditions
Another bizarre tradition being revitalized by the Parsi community of Mumbai. Mainly a ritual practiced by the Zoroastrian religion, by first preparing the dead by cleansing and bathing them and then setting them up on Towers of their religious temples to vultures. The idea behind this tradition is that the dead must get rid of their physical forms and must only survive in one being, i.e. their spiritual selves.

5. Cremation

Bizarre Funeral Traditions
Still practiced in the modern world, the ritual involves setting a proper platform of wood and then setting the dead ones on fire. The cremated body is then filled in a jar to be kept close by the dear ones of the deceased. Some of the dead ones, in their own lives, leave wills as to how they would like their ashes to be disposed of. Some even wish for themselves to be released in the space, some living in India wish for them to be flown into the River Ganges or any other ocean and some wish for them to be kept close by their relatives.

4. Strangulation

Bizarre Funeral Traditions
This modern practice has derived ideas from the ancient ritual of Sati. The traditional funeral ceremony on the South Pacific Island of Fiji involves killing of the near and dear ones of the deceased. The practice implies that the dead ones should not be left alone in the other world and must be accompanied by a loved one in the hereafter so as to make the process of death less painful.

3. Cannibalism

One of the most bizarre funeral traditions from Papua New Guinea and Brazil in which the community feasted upon the deceased’s body. Now rarely practiced, this inhuman practice probably arose from malnourished nations who sought other methods to feed themselves. Cannibalism thus left any need for disposing of any body. The deceased one’s family used to gather around the dead body and used fire and other basic tools to make it edible. It is also known to be practiced in nations who primarily survived in the jungles with not much to eat except herbs and plants.

2. Sky Burial

Sky Burial
One of the most bizarre funeral traditions still in practice. Sky burial or ritual dissection is a funerary practice in the Chinese provinces of Tibet, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia. A human corpse is cut into small pieces and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements (mahabhuta) and animals – especially predatory birds. The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible. The majority of Tibetans and many Mongolians adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism, which teaches the transmigration of spirits. They believed that there is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it or nature may cause it to decompose.

1. Sati

Sati Bizarre Funeral Traditions
Sati is a very old tradition from the religion of Hinduism, which is rarely practiced nowadays. Sati was a sort of punishment given to a woman whose husband has died, i.e. it primarily involved widows. Not only Hindus, but some other cultures are also known to practice this tradition. The widow was forced to burn herself as a way to sacrifice herself to the mighty powers in respect of her husband’s death. The main reason of this ritual practice could be that an alone woman has no place in this world after her husband’s death and she must sacrifice herself willingly before the Gods.

Related Articles:

10 Most Bizarre Traditions in World.
10 Wedding Rituals in Various Cultures.
10 Unusual Deaths.
10 Isolated Tribes That Avoided Globalized Civilization.
10 Most Bizarre Things We do in Our Daily Life.

  • fgfgff

    WOW that last one is beyond wrong!!

    • It’s same as 4th.

  • katie

    stated by the Wari “a
    corpse left intact is a painful reminder of intact memories which prolongs the
    grieving process” and also “when others ate the body, we did not think
    longingly about the ones who died; we were not so sad” (Conklin, B. A. 2001).

    • Katie

      (in relation to cannibalism) Wari form Brazil

  • unknown

    this website left nigt mares for my son you guys better be finding a lawyer FAST

  • unknown

    im just kidding lol

  • Mike Smith

    There’s one other especially”bizarre” commonly practiced funeral tradition that was not mentioned in this list that bears mentioning. It involves taking the body of the deceased to a specialized facility that will prepare the corpse for the protracted ritual which is to follow. The body is drained of its blood, and then pumped full of toxic preserving fluids to slow down the natural process of rotting and putrefaction so the body can be put on public display for an extended period of time. The body’s eyes, jaw, and lips are sewn shut, and stuffed with filling materials. The dead person’s hair is styled and makeup is applied in an effort to make it appear as though they are still alive and sleeping. The body is dressed in formal attire, and placed in an extremely expensive elaborately manufactured ornamental airtight and waterproof box that usually constructed of metal and wood with a cushioned fabric interior and decorated with the insignia of the particular that the clan follows. Family and friends of the deceased will then dress in formal attire and gather together at the funeral facility and offer one another comfort while they stare at the dead body. Mourners in attendance will line up to take turns approaching the dead body to stare at it up close, talk to it, touch it, kiss it, and sometime take photographs of it. Mourners will copiously comment to each other about how good they think the dead body looks and complement the handy work of the people who prepared the body, while praying to an omnipotent invisible sky creature. After a few days of sitting around and doing this, the corpse begins to get rather ripe. At this point, mourners will then designate the 6 strongest male members of the clan to lift up the box containing the dead body and place it in a large luxury station wagon specially designed for this purpose. The mourners will then pile into their automobiles and follow the car containing the corpse while they drive in a caravan to a plot of land where masses of other similarly prepared dead bodies of strangers are buried in a 6 foot deep hole. Some additional praying to the omnipotent sky creature occurs before the box is lowered into the ground where a concrete slab is placed on top to weigh it down before the dirt is replaced in the hole. At this point, the mourners head back to a relative’s home and have a party. Later, the grave is marked with a massive granite rectangular block that is placed on the surface of the ground above the body. The granite block is engraved with the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death, and other optional idiosyncratic inscriptions of the mourners’ choosing. The whole 3 day ritual will cost typically costs a quarter of an average person’s annual salary. Family and friends will visit the grave site, leave flowers and trinkets, and talk to the dead for years to come.

  • mark1983

    Hmm… Cannibalism. I don’t mind that at all for my funeral. At least there will be plenty of me to go around and it’s a great way to save money on food for the funeral cost. 😀