When a loved one passes away in Haiti, traditional death rites are often lavish. Haitians honor their deceased with dramatic emotions and fanfare bands from the festive wake to the lavish funeral.
A wake is a festive event, usually held the night before the funeral. It is a time for family and friends to gather and remember the deceased. Music and food are often part of the festivities, and a band may be hired to play traditional Haitian music.
The funeral itself is a grand affair. It is typically held in a church or cemetery, and the deceased’s body is often displayed in an open casket. A procession of mourners follows the casket, and a band plays music as it is carried to the burial site. At the burial site, the body is placed in the ground, and a priest or pastor leads a prayer service.
After the burial, a lavish meal is served to the mourners. This meal is often a feast of traditional Haitian dishes, such as griot (fried pork), plantains, and rice and beans. Music is also played, and it is not uncommon for the band to perform traditional Haitian songs.
Haitian funerals are a time for family and friends to come together and honor the deceased. Despite the country’s poverty, Haitians often go to great lengths to ensure their loved one’s funeral is a grand affair. From the festive wake to the lavish funeral, Haitians show their respect for the deceased with dramatic emotions and fanfare bands.