Air Sacrifice

1652 Words Sep 27th, 2012 7 Pages
Air Sacrifice – Mongolia

Photo by Viacheslav Smilyk
Lamas direct the entire ceremony, with their number determined by the social standing of the deceased. They decide the direction the entourage will travel with the body, to the specific day and time the ceremony can happen.
Mongolians believe in the return of the soul. Therefore the lamas pray and offer food to keep evil spirits away and to protect the remaining family. They also place blue stones in the dead persons bed to prevent evil spirits from entering it.
No one but a lama is allowed to touch the corpse, and a white silk veil is placed over the face. The naked body is flanked by men on the right side of the yurt while women are placed on the left. Both have their respective
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Fire Burial – Bali

Fire consumes all. Photo by Barnacle Bikers
On the mostly Hindu Isle of Bali, fire is the vehicle to the next life. The body or Mayat is bathed and laid out on a table where food offerings are laid beside it for the journey.
Lanterns line the path to the persons hut to let people know he or she has passed, and act as a reminder of their life so they are not forgotten.
It is then interred in a mass grave with others from the same village who have passed on until it is deemed there are a sufficient number of bodies to hold a cremation.
The bodies are unearthed, cleaned, and stacked on an elaborate float, gloriously decorated by the entire village and adorned with flowers. The float is paraded through the village to the central square where it is consumed by flames, and marks the beginning of a massive feast to honor and remember the dead.
Spirit Offerings – Southeast Asia

Row of spirit houses. Photo by Marc Aurel
Throughout most of Southeast Asia, people have been buried in the fields where they lived and worked. It is common to see large stone monuments in the middle of a pasture of cows or water buffalo.
The Vietnamese leave thick wads of counterfeit money under rocks on these monuments so the deceased can buy whatever they need on their way to the next life
In Cambodia and Thailand, wooden “spirit houses” sit in front of almost every hut from the poorest to the most elaborate estate. These are
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