What should not be done in the cemetery: folk beliefs

Maria ShevchukLife
People have always had a special attitude towards visiting graveyards

The cemetery holds a special significance for every individual, irrespective of their religious perspectives and beliefs. The final resting place of the deceased is revered across various cultures, leading to the establishment of numerous customs for cemetery visits and accompanying superstitions.

OBOZREVATEL has delved into this subject, shedding light on prevalent traditions and superstitions, and offering insights into the appropriate ways and times to visit the departed.

Inauspicious Times for Cemetery Visits

Visiting graves after sunset is commonly considered inauspicious. The nighttime is perceived as the period for the departed, and disturbing a soul during this time is believed to invite misfortune. Additionally, major church holidays are regarded as days dedicated to the living, each often having a designated memorial day. For instance, Parents' Saturday is a common term, and the week following Easter, known as Radonitsa or Send-off, is devoted to cemetery visits. Winter is also deemed unfavorable for graveyard visits due to the belief that a soul might escape by tracing footprints in the snow. To counter this, walking around the cemetery three times is considered a precautionary measure.

Items on Graves

Objects such as flowers, lamps, and other offerings left on graves are perceived as possessions of the deceased, and taking anything from there is discouraged. Even items accidentally dropped on a grave should not be taken without proper exchange, often involving a few coins.

Permissible Gifts

In Slavic tradition, bringing gifts for the deceased during holidays, anniversaries, or out of personal inclination is customary. Offerings can include various types of bread, sweets, alcoholic beverages, or cigarettes—preferably items the departed enjoyed in their lifetime. Some of the food or drink is consumed at the gravesite, while the rest is left as a tribute.

Emotional Displays

Despite the somber atmosphere of cemeteries, overt displays of emotions, be it excessive grief or joy, are discouraged. It is believed that imbalanced emotions can elicit sympathy from the departed souls, potentially leading them to take the imbalanced individual along.

Photography at Graves

Photographing living individuals within the cemetery is considered inauspicious and is associated with potential illness or even death for those captured in the frame. Filming other people's graves is also discouraged, as it may disturb the soul, prompting it to seek revenge.

Turning Back After Leaving

Folklore advises against turning back after leaving the cemetery, as doing so might inadvertently carry a restless soul along. This wandering spirit could then settle near the individual's home.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you why you should wish health to someone who sneezed.

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