Funeral Traditions in Azerbaijan

by P-Francone

One of the reasons that prices have escalated is that many of the cemeteries in Azerbaijan are overcrowded.

Funeral services in Azerbaijan are exquisite ceremonies, which often cost well over US$1 000. This is a major problem for a country with an average annual per capita GDP of approximately US$3 000. Mourning ceremonies in the Muslim country have been getting increasingly elaborate in recent years, a symptom of trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’.

The family of the deceased usually lays out food for hundreds of friends, relatives and neighbors in tents outdoors, with chefs and waiters catering the event. Lawmakers in the relatively poor country have attempted to legislate rules forbidding spending too much on funeral services, however they have been pushed back by the people, who resist being oppressed by the government in this former member of the Soviet Union. Ninety-nine percent of Azeris are Muslim, with the majority of them being Shia Muslims

Azeris have a superstition that you should never hurry to a funeral ceremony, or you’ll be hurrying to your own soon after.

Proper etiquette in the country states that usually when you give someone flowers to always give them an odd number of flowers, however for funerals you should give an even number.

Read more:

Azerbaijan: The Funeral Business | Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Azerbaijan – Language, Culture, Customs | Kwintessential

Azerbaijan’s Muslims choke on funeral costs | News24

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