Funeral Customs Around the World

Funeral Customs Around the World Brazil

Last Updated: 27th January 2022

Brazilian funerals usually take place within 48 hours of a person’s death and takes place in a building specific for the deceased person’s family and friends to mourn them called a ‘velórios’.  Mourning does not take place in any home dwelling. 

Unlike other South American countries, the Brazilians do not celebrate death but focus on the sadness and pain when someone dies, expressing their grief vocally. 

It is common to hear those mourning for a loved one wailing, crying loudly or even hugging and kissing the deceased.  There may be occasions where a person throws themselves at the coffin as it is placed in the pit and it has been known for mourners to faint during their moments of grief.

Christianity is the widely followed in Brazil and so that may be the reason that burials are more popular than cremation, although cremation is accepted and does take place in Brazilian death care.  There is a much larger number of cemeteries than crematoriums in Brazilian cities and towns.

However, flowers are not common at funerals.  In order to avoid taking anything away from the deceased, nothing is done to perceive that.  For example, food and drink is not provided and is considered offensive to ask for something to eat or drink.

Those attending funerals for a loved one in Brazil are often dressed casually, formal dress is not expected and we wonder if this is part of the custom to keep the deceased person at the forefront of everything when grieving for them?

If a family cannot afford to pay for their loved one’s funeral, it is offered for free.  If the deceased person has chosen to donate their organs, they also receive the funeral for free.

Online streaming services for the funeral referred to as ‘social media funerals’ are often offered due to the very short time a funeral takes place after a person dies.  It is quite common in Brazil to be offered a virtual way of attending. 

This also applies to wakes as ‘virtual wakes’ allow people to get together if they live far away but want to share in the grief of those that are mourning. 

Unlike the speed in which a funeral takes place after a death, the mourning period tends to last for a much longer period. 

A memorial and a variety of events in which family and friends can grieve for their lost loved one are organised and, during that period, friends and family help out with everyday duties that are required (such as cooking, cleaning, washing up and doing the laundry).

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