Durgish Funeral Rites
Similar to many other cultures in Yinatur, the Durgish believe that a funeral is an event to signify that the deceased one's spirit has left its vessel and is now on its way to the afterlife. However, the Durgish also believe that the deceased person's spirit has not actually left its body until the body has been cremated so they cremate the body to help release the spirit. Cremation is a traditional ritual in Durgish funerals not only because of that belief but also because the Durgish Peninsula is small compared to other areas on the continent so the Durgish began cremating their dead to save space.
Before the Funeral
When someone dies in Durga, it is common to not immediately have a funeral afterward. Instead, the friends and family of the deceased person will come together for three days at their home and pray, enjoy the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased person, participate in activities that the deceased person enjoyed, and share memories of that particular person. It is common for people to bring gifts, such as food or money, to the immediate family of the deceased. While everyone is doing these things, the body will be draped in a simple sheet and placed in a simple coffin in a separate room. During the activities, people can go into the room to pray and leave gifts in the coffin, such as the person's favorite food, drink, blanket, etc. It is believed that when the deceased person's spirit is released, they will be offerings with them to enjoy in the afterlife. These three days are meant to spend one last time with the dead and celebrate aspects of their life with them before their spirit has to be released to the afterlife.
The funeral service takes place on the fourth day after the person's death and outside. Both male and female guests are expected to wear white, not black, because white is considered to be not only the color of mourning but also the color of spirituality and the afterlife. The coffin will be placed on a pyre outside as well and it will open so that everyone can see the body and all the gifts left behind. At the beginning of the funeral, the spiritual leader and/or family elder presiding over the funeral will first recite prayers and mantras and then people can place any last offerings inside the coffin. After that, the spiritual leader and/or family elder will put a small amount of water from the Great River into the deceased person's mouth. Sometimes water from the sea will be put in the mouth instead, especially in areas by the coast, but this is generally not preferred because it is believed that the deceased one's spirit will be able to taste all the saltiness of that water. After the water has been placed into the deceased person's mouth, the spiritual leader and/or village elder will set the pyre on fire and those who have come to the funeral will stay until the body is entirely burned. After the body is burned, someone will take the ashes to be sprinkled into either the Great River or into the sea.
Sometimes the traditional Durgish funeral cannot be held for whatever reason, whether it is plague, war, poverty, etc. As result, there are variations to how a Durgish funeral can be held.More information coming soon.