Explaining the Festival and the American Way of Death Saying Good-bye

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:
Explaining the Festival and the American Way of Death Saying Good-bye

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This chapter attempts to explain the reasons behind the so-called funeral festivals in the U.S. It cites an expert's opinion that the primary and most general function of the festival is to renounce and then to announce culture such that the funeral is also a festival celebration that renounces cultural death and announces, or affirms, a continuation of cultural life of the deceased in memory and perhaps literally. It also discusses the consistency of the components and behavior modalities of the funerary ritual with the festival and explores the ritual meanings of foods and celebratory banquets in terms of conspicuous consumption.

Keywords: funeral festivals; U.S.; culture; cultural death; cultural life; funerary ritual; food; funeral banquet

Chapter.  2893 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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