Death in different cultures
Death marks the end of life. All living things go through the process of death, because it’s a natural process. Man is the only being who realizes the finiteness of his being.
Every culture has its own customs for dealing with death. Most customs include either burial or cremation of the body. Cemeteries are final resting places for the dead.
People have always been interested in what happens after death, but no one knows for certain.
In different cultures, in different parts of the world, the god of death was depicted in different ways, but all of these deities had similar features.
In the traditions and cultures of many peoples throughout the world, death is personified as a skeletal figure dressed in black.
– In Greek mythology, Hades is the god of the underworld (brother of Zeus), Hermes (he is also the god of commerce, cheating, theft and eloquence, in general, quite a multi-functional deity) is the guide of souls to the underworld, and Thanatos is the god of dying. Thanatos is the brother of Hypnos, the god of sleep. The Greeks often depicted them – death and sleep – side by side, in the form of white and black young men. Black man has an extinguished torch in his hand, a symbol of the end of life.
– The ancient Egyptians revered Anubis, the god, who was depicted as a man with a jackal’s head. He is the god of mummification and the afterlife as well as the patron god of lost souls and the helpless.
– Ancient Scandinavians believed that the world of the dead was ruled by Hel, the daughter of the treacherous god Loki and the giantess Angoboda from the Ironwood.
– In Japanese mythology, Izanami-no-Mikoto is a goddess of both creation and death. Together with her husband Izanagi-no-Mikoto, she created the land and all its inhabitants. After that, Izanami gave birth to several other gods who were able to rule the world. Kagutsuti, the god of fire, singed his mother, and after a serious illness she went to the land of eternal darkness.
– The Aztecs believed that the god of the afterlife was Mictlantecuhtli, who looked like a bloodied skeleton or just a man with a skull instead of the head. The bat, the owl, the spider and his wife were together with him.
– In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Satan is the main opponent of the heavenly powers. This god has many names, the most famous are Lucifer, Devil, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, Shaitan. The Bible tells us that Satan was originally an angel, perfect and wise. But he became proud and wished to be equal to God himself. Then he was thrown to Earth with friends who became demons.
– In Mexico people worship Santa Muerte, who is the embodiment of death. This cult was born on the basis of myths of the Mexican aborigines and Catholicism. People even celebrate Days of the Dead. Fans believe that Santa Muerte can fulfill wishes. People build chapels in honor of the deity.
– Baron Samedi is in the voodoo religion. He is associated not only with the dead and death, but also with the birth of children. The coffin is his symbol. In Haiti, people dedicate the first grave to Baron Samedi in every new cemetery. Baron Samedi is also considered the patron of the bandits.
The strangest deaths in history
Biographers spend years studying the lives of great people of the past. But some deaths were truly astonishing.
– The greatest Chinese poet, Li Po (701-706), was well known for his love of alcoholic drinks and quite often his best poems were written in a state of intoxication. One night, being drunk and trying to hug the reflection of the moon in the water, Li Po fell out of the boat and drowned in the Yangtze River.
– The Austrian Hans Steininger was known as the man who had the longest beard in the world (its length was about 4.5 feet or nearly 1.4 meters) and died because of it. In 1567, escaping from fire, he stepped on his own beard, fell down, broke his neck and died.
– King of Sweden Adolf Friedrich loved to eat, and died of gluttony. His last dinner consisted of lobsters, caviar, sauerkraut, cabbage soup, smoked herring, champagne and 14 portions of his favorite dessert – buns with whipped cream and marzipan.
– Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884), famous for the creation of the detective agency Pinkerton and the development of such methods of investigation as the tracking of the suspect, died of blood poisoning, developed from the fact that he fell down and bit his tongue!
– According to legends, Grigory Rasputin (1869-1916) was poisoned with cyanide, but it did not work. After that, they tried to shoot him, but he survived. Then he received three more gunshot wounds, he was beaten with truncheons, and for the final result he was thrown into the icy water of the Neva River. Strange, but he died because he suffocated under the water.
– Isadora Duncan was killed by her own scarf. It got into the wheel of the car and strangled her.
– Homer and Langley Collier were obsessed with savings and didn’t throw anything out of their home. They even created mine-traps in the corridors and doorways to protect their “treasures”. Once Langley got into one of his own traps. Paralyzed Homer died a few days later from hunger. Their bodies were found after 2 weeks. Police carried out about 100 tons of garbage from their apartment.
– King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, was found dead in his mansion, sitting on the toilet.
– In 2006, Australian wildlife amateur naturalist and showman Steve Irwin was killed by an electric ray during the filming of the documentary Ocean’s Deadliest.