Cultural Spotlight: 8 Things To Avoid On A Taoist Funeral In Singapore
Commonly, mourners attending funeral ceremonies, be it a Christian, Catholic, Taoist, or Buddhist funeral in Singapore, dress up in loose white clothing. These are some of the most common traditions people, mourners, family, or visitors, practice during death ceremonies. Like any religion, Taoism follows some rituals and rites before, during, and after holding a funeral service. Some typical traditional practices they follow are burying the dead Chinese Taoists instead of cremating them. Taoists believe that the soul of the dead does not die along with the body. They believe the body experiences reincarnation.
Like other religions, the Taoist religion also has some practices they strictly need to comply with and observe. They have some dos and don’ts during and after the Taoist funeral ceremony in Singaporetakes place. When talking about the context of Chinese culture, their traditions vary depending on some points. Some factors are age, the function of the dead in the family, and their role in society. In Taoism, they take these traditions relatively seriously. The more reason you must take note of some funeral do’s and don’ts, in case you have to attend a Taoist funeral eventually.
Below is a list of eight things you should avoid when attending a Taoist funeral in Singaporebased on the practices brought by the respected cultural masters.
8 THINGS TO AVOID WHEN ATTENDING A TAOIST FUNERAL IN SINGAPORE
1. AVOID TRIMMING YOUR HAIR AND NAILS.
The children or grandchildren of the deceased attending the Taoist funeral services in Singapore should avoid trimming their nails and hair or both for at least 49 days after the family holds the funeral ceremony. It comes from the idea that the dead parent or grandparent gave their nails and hair to the children, so these two should not be cut during the mourning or at least wait for 49 days.
2. AVOID VISITING YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.
Whether you’re the person in charge of arranging the ceremony, managing the Taoist funeral package in Singapore, or just mourning, as long as you are related to the dead, the second thing you must avoid is visiting your friends, relatives, and family. Taoists believe you should take time off from seeing other people and let yourself grieve during the 49-day mourning period. Take this time to reflect on your life and let your emotions settle down after a loss.
3. AVOID ENGAGING IN ENTERTAINMENT.
After the Taoist funeral ceremony in Singapore, the close family members and relatives, be it the cousins, grandparents, or grandchildren of the dead, should avoid having fun or throwing a party. Like other religions, this is to pay respect to the departed. It is one of the most basic rules that mourners should always follow during these situations. To show respect for the family member who has died, all relatives and family members must observe this practice within the 49-day mourning period. During the 49 days, avoid happy events, such as weddings, birthday parties, and baby showers.
4. AVOID WEARING BRIGHT COLOURS.
Avoid wearing bright-coloured clothing pieces 49 days after the Taoist funeral ceremony in Singapore. The length of this traditional practice could differ from one language to the next. In some countries and places, Taoist mourners should wear white clothes for a week or seven days before they can change into red garments. On the other hand, others do not permit close relatives and immediate family members to wear bright-coloured clothes for 100 days.
5. AVOID MARRYING DURING THE MOURNING PERIOD.
Six months after the Taoist funeral ceremony in Singapore or before the period is over, the sons of the dead should avoid marrying, especially considering that one of their parents died. If the marrying adults planned the wedding even before the parent died, they should put off and postpone the marriage until the following year to give people time to mourn.
6. AVOID GIVING BEREAVEMENT MONEY IN EVEN NUMBERS.
When attending a Taoist funeral ceremony in Singapore, avoid handing pekkimor bereavement money in even numbers. Giving bereavement money to the bereaved family can help with the funeral expenses but is customary. While there is no minimum amount you can give or no specific and strict value to follow, the bereaved family will appreciate receiving amounts in odd numbers. In Chinese culture, odd numbers bring luck.
For the same reason, have you noticed how most families hold Taoist funeral ceremonies in Singaporefor three, five, or seven days? These numbers are promising and fortunate in their culture and traditions. When attending a Chinese, be it Taoist or Buddhist, ensure to avoid giving an amount in even numbers under any circumstances, especially the number four. In Chinese, the number four sounds like the translation for death, which is why it’s off-limits.
7. AVOID LEAVING WHILE PRAYER IS ONGOING.
Similar to how other religions hold their ceremonies, it is also offensive to leave a Taoist funeral in Singaporein the middle of prayers, chants, or rituals. When the officiator or monk starts chanting, sit silently, participate in the prayers, grieve as loudly as possible, refrain from using your phone, and avoid leaving during these rites. Whether you’re a guest, mourner, or family member, it is vital to honour the bereaved family and be courteous throughout the ceremony. If you need to leave the wake, wait until the chanting rites are through.
8. AVOID BOWING THRICE TO FAMILY MEMBERS.
In traditional Chinese culture, bowing is a sign of respect. When you attend a Taoist funeral ceremony in Singapore, one small bow to the family members welcoming you is enough. One bow symbolises a greeting, so do it only once. Throwing thrice is specially and traditionally reserved for paying respects to the dead. When you do it in front of a living person, bowing thrice may seem like a sign of disrespect to them.
In addition to these eight, you should consider and observe other practices when, during, and after a Taoist funeral ceremony. For instance, the burning of the clothes worn by the dead and everyone else should get burned. Ensure to dispose of all clothes worn during the funeral through fire. Whether you’re a family member or guest, and even though you may not be a Taoist, you may still need to know some rituals practised during Taoist funeral services, like these eight. If you’re part of the bereaved family, things may get challenging. You will need to manage the funeral cost in Singapore, welcome the guests, mourn, and respect the Taoism culture and way of life. The best way to deal with this is by getting a good funeral director who can organise everything for you and your family.
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