Funeral

There is ritual that after the death of the ill man a certain kind of bread is prepared and is eaten, in health's sake, by the people attending the funeral. It is believed that it is after that when the soul goes out of the house and starts making circles around the chimney. After that another kind of bread is prepared - a well-done one, it is eaten as well and after that the soul starts for its long travel. The windows or the doors are usually open, the cups are turned upside-down and the mirrors and the portraits are covered with a cloth.

The body is washed with soap or just water with basil in it "for a good smell". The eyes should necessarily be closed or someone else may die as well.

The dead man is dressed in clean clothes, usually new ones and is covered with canopy - a white cloth; it is believed that in this canopy the dead man appears to the God. The dead lads or lasses are dressed in wedding clothes.

There is a common belief that in the grave the dead men have the same needs as the living ones and that is why apples, bread and dry fruit are put in it. A common ritual is the putting of money in the dead man's pocket, a ransom for the next world.

There are a lot of rituals done to protect the dead man from becoming a vampire - a cross, garlic, an icon or incense are put near the body. The announcement of the death is done by the toll of the church bell. The dead man is loudly wailed over. It is considered a fearful and wrong thing to not wail over the dead man.

Everywhere the dead man is put in a coffin (a box, a trunk). Before the dead man is taken out of the house his relatives say their last good-byes to him. The cemetery is usually near the village and the grave is called the house or the home of the dead. Everyone that attends the funeral tosses some dust over the coffin and says: "May he rest in peace" or "God rest his soul" . When leaving the cemetery or when they arrive home the relatives wash their hands so that they wash away the bad.

A cross put over the grave on the head's side. A table is put on grave on the fortieth day. Other commemorations are done on the third and on the ninth month as well as in the first and third year. The mourning can be seen in the clothes and in the behavior. The mourning women wear black clothes, black head clothes and wear no jewelry.






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