A death symbol can be found in various religions and cultures. But these symbols are varied and have different meanings that give a particular insight into a culture. If we look back to ancient times, humans found their ways to mourn death and often relate it with symbolism. Both modern and traditional cultures are built on imagery that can be associated with death or how a person is passing his/her life. One can find it interesting to compare such cultures and histories across the world to uncover the death secrets through symbolism. Here, we have brought you a list of symbols of death according to a culture that you can truly associate if your dear ones have departed lately.
Raven has a long history that can be associated with mourning and death. Most of their interpretation can be consulted with Edgar Allen Poe poems having the same name. Moreover, the raven got its dark start from the 19th century when the bird carries a lot of symbolism within Christianity. In addition, the Ravens are also considered as the representation of the devil.
Likewise the raven, the vultures are also a sign of death and treated as dark birds. The ravens are comparatively small and quiet birds, blend in with the night. On the contrary, vultures demand to be observed and seen.
These birds are treated as a sign of death as their preliminary diet is the corpses of other animals. In the Parsi culture, the corpses of their loved ones are hanged as a diet of vultures. According to a Parsi priest, “Vultures are very quick in eating away the flesh. Now it’s working a bit slowly. From an emotional point of view, it is disturbing to some people,” Karanjia says.
He further added, “For years, Parsis have been trying to manage without vultures,” Khusrokhan says. “But obviously, if the vultures could be brought back, [the Parsis] would be delighted. And it’s always been an impossible task, so this is the first time it’s become feasible to do.”
Such rituals are banned in a lot of countries including India, however, the community is still waiting for approval from the government.
Who hasn’t heard about the superstitions related to black cats which exist in every culture and religion? There are also superstitions that every year during the time of Halloween, the black cats come alive. Another belief is that if a black cat crosses your way, then this is known as the sign of bad luck which is surely followed in every religion and culture.
In the 16th century, the people of Italy believed that if a black cat visits a home where a person is already sick which means that there is the certainty of death. The people of Germany also think that a black cat is a sign of death. Whether these animals are misunderstood or deep down there is a mystery associated with it, this is maybe just a superstition.
The clocks, sundials, and hourglasses are the reminder that our time on this earth is very limited and the passage of every single minute brings us closer to death. In some cultures, the family stops clocks in the home at the time of death of their relative to pay respect to them. Either way, the ticking of time will never stop.
Lighting candles are treated as another symbol of death which is quite common during memorials, funerals, and other traditions of death. In different cultures such as Latin America, candles help the families of the deceased to bring them close to the departed soul.
Candles may help the families with both cultural and religious rituals such as lighting the candles on the grave of a deceased person. Even you often see in the movies that the Ouija board which connects the family to the departed soul requires lighting candles. The Ouija is more fun when you darken the room and light candles.
Tombstones are another symbol of death that is used by Christians as the burial marker. It shows where the loved ones are buried in the earth.
The tombstone has a legacy in itself which is made of a stone and is kept as a memorial to the departed one after their death. If you have watched “The Vampire Diaries”, then you might be aware that Silas Tombstone was the first-ever tombstone that was used to raise Silas from death.
Who can forget the black color, of course, the symbols of death would be incomplete without this one. This is the color that we wear to funerals, especially in Western cultures. The legacy of black color is pretty much associated with death and reflects the afterlife of the departed soul.
Have you ever questioned yourself as to why black is heavily associated with death? This is a practice of almost every culture to relate the black color with the sign of death.
Black is also known as a mysterious color that is mainly associated with negative or unknown. The black color is also a representative of seriousness, power, authority, and strength.