Chapter

Funerals as Festivals the Irony of Festivity around Death and its Americanness

Jacqueline S. Thursby

in Funeral Festivals in America

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780813123806
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134949 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813123806.003.0002
Funerals as Festivals the Irony of Festivity around Death and its Americanness

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This chapter examines the practice of funerals as festivals in the U.S. and comments on the irony of festivity around death and its Americanness. The events surrounding mourning, memorial or funeral rites, and burial or cremation require sober reflection and response, but for most contemporary Americans, that restrained period of introspection and sorrow does not sustain itself for long. America is a country that celebrates life. And as a festival is a validation and affirmation of the culture and art of a people, the funerary event is a validation and affirmation of the cultural values and intermingling of a clan of family and friends.

Keywords: funerals; festivals; U.S.; death; cultural values; mourning; memorial; burial; cremation

Chapter.  5296 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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