Monday, March 22, 2010


Some unusual rituals about death:

In ancient Rome, when someone was on their death bed, the eldest male relative would lean in close, inhale and catch the last breath of the dying person.

According to the great Greek historian Herodotus, the Calatians ate their dead. It was thought to be the family’s sacred duty. Queen Artemisia apparently mixed the ashes of her lover with wine and drank it.

In the Scottish highlands the deceased were buried with a small amount of salt and soil placed on their chests. The soil symbolized that the body decays and becomes one with the earth. The salt symbolizes the soul and like the soul does not decay or die.

In Northern Vietnam the deceased are buried in the land on which they lived. They are generally laid to rest in the middle of a rice paddy. After two years, the deceased's family digs up the body, cleans all the bones, and then re-buries the body in the family garden.

Who needs fertility drugs when you have a death shroud? In Madagascar, people dig up their dead relatives for a ceremony called famadihana. They parade the bones around the village and then bury the remains in a new shroud. The old shroud is given to childless newlyweds who place it on their bed.

Thralls were often sacrificed during a Viking funeral so that they could serve their master in the next world.

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