The funeral of the death

Bereavement (death)

Death is as in any culture, surrounded by many ritualized beliefs and practices, which in Vietnam further strengthen a little more Confucian tradition and relations with the invisible world. 

According Lê Huu Khoa (1996), death could be summed up four words: the rung ve coi (leaf falls on the root), symbolizing the fact that death is perceived as "Completion of a loop, the culmination of his return to the homeland, the land of the ancestors. (...) The death in this world who believe in ancestor worship is therefore not a death in solitude or isolation (...)

Firstly, funerals and organizing major events (placed in the coffin, burial ...) will often be by families to appeal to a "Thay phong thuy" to decide, after consulting the calendar in harmony with the stars and the horoscope of the deceased favorable day and time suitable for the funeral. Also, a geomancer may determine the location of the tomb and the direction that the coffin should have in it. 

The funeral ceremony usually takes place at home, in the presence of family and religious representative, often Buddhists. The prayers here "detachment from the material of the immaterial (body, mind). (...) Death is the opposite time of birth. Arrival of formal Being the material world and visible succeeded him his start in another informal space ( formless)" 

The family members of the deceased are of white and a white headband clothing on the head, especially tied to the back if both parents are already dead. The great-grandchildren, them, wear a yellow band. The greatest son will stick a sign of succession and support the family. The phrase "do you have someone to take the stick" then refers directly to the idea of ​​having or not a son to take care of his line after his death.

Between home and the cemetery, the funeral procession often stops at the pagoda or a short ceremony will be held ("cau axle"). On the way Dean family sprinkle banknotes and small cubes of red and white paper, symbolizing precious objects, to specify the path in mind for him to come home after the funeral and thus make possible the cult of ancestor.

Ceremonies for the deceased and the worship of ancestors who associate themselves, will be held the day of the funeral, and three days after death. Over the next seven weeks the death, the mind is considered still at home with his family. Without being visible, the deceased is still present, and his invisible presence will mean that every day at lunchtime, will be placed on the altar of the deceased equivalent to a share of food. After seven weeks, the forty -ninth day, a ceremony will be held to celebrate the departure of the spirit of the house. Ceremony hundredth day is when the soul of the deceased is deemed to have been permanently join the ancestors. Finally ancestor worship takes place each year on the anniversary of the death of the deceased (the "Dam Gio"). The dates of these ceremonies are determined by the symbolic figure 3-7-10 and fall within the Vietnamese syncretism and particularly in Taoist thought.

Three or four years after the burial, the family will see the "Thay Phong Thuy" whether the body has become skeleton, and if so, the coffin will be exhumed, the bones cleaned and placed in a new coffin is buried a new location. There are two types and Vietnam cemetery, a common place in the village for the first time then a single grave, chosen by the family, often located in the middle of rice fields.




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