Australian Funeral Traditions

by K-Berens

Australia is running out of room. This cemetery in Sydney is full but new burial techniques and green funeral options may lessen the load.

Australia’s funerary customs are very similar to North American ones, they also follow the trend of baby boomers and are moving towards nontraditional funerals, except one of Australia’s largest concerns deals with space. Australia fears they may be running out of room for their dead.

Because of this, many funeral homes have begun promoting “green burials”, burials that make it easier for the body to naturally recycle in a biodegradable coffin with nothing fancy included inside. These green parks do not contain headstones or other markers, but every coffin has a GPS locator inside which families can use to help them find the exact location of their loved one’s body.

One specific park in Sydney is reportedly just a few hundred square metres, and able to hold up to 300 bodies.

Australia’s natural grave sites are going for about $2,000, about a thousand dollars cheaper than a regular burial in a traditional graveyard.

Australians historically have participated in many post-death traditions, including stopping clocks the hour that the death took place and placing pennies over the eyes of the deceased.

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