9. Turning Of The Bones
There's no such thing as Rest In Piece in Madagascar. The Malagasy people perform a ritual called “famadihana,” or “the turning of the bones” whereby they disturb the remains of their dearly departed relatives for a jolly little jaunt about town.
Once every 5-7 years, the bones of the dead are exhumed and sprayed with perfume and then taken to a party to be danced with by various friends and family to the music of a live band. The music, dancing and feasting carries on well into the night.
For many, this is the opportunity for a good old catch up with their dead family members, telling them all of the latest news and asking them for their blessing.
This seemingly bizarre ritual comes from the belief that the souls of the dead do not enter some kind of other realm after death, but linger until the body has completely decomposed and can be called up for wisdom and blessings.
Women struggling to conceive a child will even take some of the dead person's shroud and hide it under their mattress or even eat it in order to increase their chances of getting pregnant.
As the sun comes up, the remains are returned to their tomb and given offerings of wine and money before being sealed back up for another five years or so.