Whilst funerals are significant events, they need not be impersonal or flat. There are ways to make the service standout, be it through personalisation, extravagance or size, it’s entirely up to you. Here’s a look at 5 outrageous funerals from around the world that have – in some way – broken the mould of what a typical memorial ‘should’ be.
The World’s Most Attended Funeral
|When India’s former chief minister CN Annadurai passed away in 1969, approximately 15 million people took to the streets of Chennai to honour the memory of their beloved leader. This funeral is widely thought to have the largest attendance in history.|
Most Expensive Funeral Ever?
|Alexander the Great – ruler of the largest empire in the world – was laid to rest in 323 BC, but not before being placed in a gold casket and transported in a gold carriage pulled by 60 horses. In today’s money, Alexanders funeral was a $600 million affair!|
Personalised Ghanaian Coffin Art
|Ghanaians believe that death is merely the beginning of the afterlife, so they devised a way to honour their loved ones in a colourful way. A coffin studio will craft and decorate a casket to represent their passion, for example, as a fish to symbolise their life as a fisherman. The aim of this novel idea is to honour the loved one’s passion.|
Funeral on the Open Ocean
|When legendary big-wave surfer and life-guard Eddie Aikau passed away, many of his peers met in Waimea Bay, Oahu, to remember him. The surfers paddled out to the mouth of the bay, joined hands and formed a circle on their boards. Sentiments of love and bravery were shared. An ocean-top funeral certainly sounds like a stunning way to send off a loved one.|
Themed Funerals: A New Trend
More and more, funerals are being seen as celebrations of life, rather than an exercise in mourning. If this suits your worldview, you may be pleased to know that many funeral homes organise themed funerals, tailored to any passion your beloved had. From superheroes to Christmas, whatever your loved one was most passionate about – however outrageous – can be created to immortalise their memory in an upbeat way.
All in all, funerals can be as uplifting and celebratory as you want them to be. If you are planning a funeral, remember that there is no ‘right’ way to honour that person; simply stay true to their spirit and honour their memory fittingly