The Russian funeral surprise Europeans

History 06/01/20 Than Russian funeral surprise Europeans

In any country in the world has its own burial rituals, the features of which may surprise or even shock the alien. There is in the traditions of funerals in Russia of a part, capable of hitting a man far removed from our customs.


the Ritual washing of the dead takes place in a variety of cultures. For Russians, it had its own specifics. The body parts were usually closer to the threshold of the house, the deceased was placed with his feet to the stove. As aivalis often invited spinsters or widows – those who by force of circumstances refrain from committing bodily sins. The reward for such work often served as the possessions of the deceased. Sometimes, before washing the deceased had bound my feet and unties them just in the cemetery.

to Be prepared

until the beginning of XX century in the Russian province in order to prepare for death in advance. The respect enjoyed by future dead, who made the coffin with his own hands. Pipeline box pre-filled with grain, put in the attic, and in the day of the funeral of cereals were fed to birds. Also ahead of time took care of the clothes that was supposed to be buried. Often a special sewn decoration, made without buttons or knots.

cannot Keep

According to legends, came to Christianity from paganism, while the deceased remained in the house next to him had to be someone from the family or relatives. This was due to the fact that the soul within three days after the death was considered to be very vulnerable to otherworldly forces – all this time over the dead needed prayers. As noted in the book Alexander Aksenov “Fasting for soul and body” at the dying of soul experiences a sense of fear and prayer family try to reduce her suffering.

Deadly sight

Linguist Svetlana Fat in the dictionary “Slavic antiquities” indicates a stable tradition in the home of pokoingo close all mirrored surfaces with a white cloth. The mirror has long been considered a boundary between the earthly and otherworldly realms. Some attribute this to the fact that an open mirror broadcasts scenes from the life of the deceased and the one who will see the reflection, may soon go after him. Others argue that this is done for security purposes, most of the deceased – that his soul wouldn’t get lost in Wonderland.


a Special case in the Russian tradition it was believed the death of a young man or woman. If the person died before the marriage it was customary to bury in a wedding dress – it was assumed that his soul mate he will find in that light. Curiously, the funeral rite of a bride in Russia was often accompanied by singing wedding songs and drinking champagne.


the Coffin in Russia was perceived as an imitation of bed – there should be comfortable also, as in the conventional beds. In the tradition of some regions women even preparing his pipeline bed pillow filled with their own hair. In the coffin could put a bundle of the most valuable for the dead things. However, the Church criticizes the custom of burying the deceased with all belongings, calling it a relic of paganism.

the removal of the body

In Russia, as in many other cultures bear the corpse from the house feet first. The reason for this is that the soul knew where she directed, but did not remember the road back. Others call this process symbolic opposition to the birth of the newborn, which emerges from the womb head first. When the funeral procession was moving past other people’s houses knocking on Windows and tried to awaken the sleeping, because, according to legend, the deceased could take everyone who is in slumber.


Emotional, bordering on a theatrical farewell to the deceased – a characteristic detail of the Russian funeral rites. The tone in this asked mourners. In some traditions they could only be close relatives, others for aplacianthe UW women were invited from outside. In Church view, deliberately artificial mourning of the deceased is not consistent with the Christian understanding of death as a transition to eternal life.

to have Time before the funeral

Ethnographer Ivan Pankeev in his book “Customs and traditions of Russian people” describes existing in some regions of Russia are prohibited from attending the funeral of pregnant women. According to legend, it is connected with the risk of giving birth to a sick child. Traditionally pregnant women advice to say goodbye to dying until after the funeral.

a Picture

In Soviet times, funeral ritual has undergone a qualitative change, incorporating both the features of pagan, Orthodox and atheistic cults. There are new customs. One of them became widespread soon after the revolution. Talking about a detailed shooting of the process of the funeral, where an important place was himself dead. In one picture the deceased closeup, on the other it is surrounded by the people close to him, the third General plan itself is the funeral procession.

this is Explained by the tradition caught on during the Civil war, when pictures of dead heroes printed in the newspaper and creating one whole photo albums, where an important place was given it burial. In fairness it should be noted that to photograph the funeral in Russia began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, but widespread it was only in the Soviet Union.

Anthropologist Mikhail Alexeyevsky even compared this Patriotic tradition of photographs in the style of “post mortem”, popular in Victorian Europe of the late nineteenth century. According to him, the rejection of the human phenomenon is a reflection of the urban intellectual, to whom the thought of death is unpleasant, it is very taboo.

the final path of Soviet-style

As a legacy of the old days in the late Soviet Union, preserved the tradition to accompany the deceased in the past way out of the house. As the last refuge often performed small apartment in the Khrushchev or Breznev. The bodysapsago a long time was in a small room together with the tenants, and the lid of the coffin due to lack of free space could be put up in the stairwell, on display to the astonished neighbors.

When the time came, the coffin with the deceased was removed to the yard of the apartment building where he was, sometimes for several hours, until the arrival of the brass band and funeral transport. During this time the deceased had the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone, even those who in life with him was not familiar.

a Funeral procession, marching to the bus or directly to the graveyard (if it was located close to the house), accompanied by a brass band, is a separate issue. Until now, many of those who lived in the USSR shudder to remember it’s a very unpleasant sight, including the fake, often inappropriately, the performance of the funeral March of Chopin’s brass band, oglasi surroundings for hundreds of meters.

the Custom of ceremonial harness of the deceased also originated during the Civil war, when he was saying goodbye to red commander or a prominent figure in the revolution. But then the funeral procession, often crossing in a rally, no doubt, carried the advocacy function.

the Meal over the graves

Surprise to foreigners can cause and how we commemorate their loved ones in the cemetery. Usually on the day of rejoicing day, which falls on the second Tuesday after Easter, people come to the cemetery with bags full of food to honor the memory of a deceased person, but it all ends with often abundant feast and booze on the grave of the deceased. In addition, offerings to the deceased in the form of candy, cake, shots of vodka and a lit cigarette if he smoked.

this Custom is associated with the beliefs of the Eastern Slavs, which in this day shared his joy with the dead. Orthodox priests look at the negative tradition of the supper over the graves and the more drinking there alcohol. According to Archpriest Andrei Tkachev, a relic of ancient beliefs in the form of lush feasts and copious libations only Uscorplay the memory of the deceased. The Church teaches that after physical death the personality is saved and all the emotional characteristics of the person, but purely biological functions cease. The deceased needed prayer, not of the offering.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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Where in “the Master and Margarita”, set the episode to mercury poisoning?
the Author does not tell?
Maybe I read a long time?

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