Burial rites are an important part of traditional African societies and the dead are accorded dignity and respect and treated with a lot of care.
This is so because many believe when one dies, his burial is like his last wedding on earth and if he or she is not respected they might come back to haunt the living.
Burial ceremonies vary from community to community and religion to religion.
Most bodies are buried in an individual grave but in cases whereby the deceased died together, e.g mother and children they are buried in the same 6 feet underground grave.
In case many people die at once due to an accident or any other cause, a mass burial is conducted and all buried in the same grave.
Well, some people choose how they want to be buried and what should be done to them when they die. Some choose to be cremated, buried in expensive coffins, buried in their cars, best clothes, buried with their expensive things they own such as watches, shoes, gold chains etc.
For Christians, burial ceremonies are conducted differently depending on the church the deceased attended.
Also, a body is buried three days after death if the bereaved cannot afford to take the body to the morgue.
Some bodies are taken to the morgue immediately and others spend even up to five months in there (in the morgue) before they’re buried.
Most Christians are buried in white clothes. For women, they are dressed in white long dresses, white head wraps and even shoes of the same colour.
Inside of the coffin is usually covered with a white piece of cloth.
Men are mostly dressed in black suits and white shirts and shoes of the family’s choice.
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During burials, most mourners wear white and black, which is common among most Christians.
BBC Pastor Godfrey Migwi revealed that the reason why most people bury the dead in white clothes is because it signifies purity.
People believe that white colour is godly. White means purity and God is pure, so many believe that God will accept the dead, others do it to make sure that the ones who will view the body will live to remember the dead was pure and clean because of the colour white that’s why many coffins are white inside,’ he told Mpasho.co.ke.
On the other hand, Muslims bury the dead as soon as possible, preceded by a simple ritual involving bathing and shrouding the body, followed by salah (prayer) according to Islamic law (sharia).
Burial is usually within 24 hours of death to protect the living from any sanitary issues, except in the case of a person killed in battle or when foul play is suspected; in those cases it is important to determine the cause of death before burial.
Cremation of the body is strictly forbidden in Islam.
The body is dressed in white pieces of clothes before it’s wrapped in a large piece of cloth tightly.