Unusual Funeral Rituals

By | February 27, 2019

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Death Of A Viking. Circa 800 AD, The Funeral Of A Viking around 800AD from a painting by Frank Dicksee ( - 1928). Source: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Viking Funeral

Usually, when we think of a Viking funeral, we think of sending a body out to sea in a burning boat, but that is just a myth. The bodies were generally burned, but on land in a funeral pyre. Once the body was reduced to ashes, the ashes would be taken out to sea, but not on a burning boat. Boats were too valuable to be used in that way. Only the highest ranking Vikings may be privy to such a funeral.

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Depiction of ‘Sati’. Source: (feminisminindia.com)


Sati was a funeral ritual practiced among Hindu communities. It involves widowed women sacrificing themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre. Sati is described as voluntary; however, some women were forced onto the fire. Other forms of Sati include being buried alive with her husband’s corpse and drowning.  Sati is thought to have started to prevent wives from killing their wealthy husbands. Another idea is that it was a way for the couple to enter the afterlife together. Today, Sati is outlawed in India, but it still happens in some Hindu communities.