Skip to main content

What Do You Wear to a Buddhist Funeral?

Deciding what to wear, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Buddhist beliefs, isn’t easy!

Since a wide range of ethnic groups and cultures practise Buddhism, you’ll find many denominations of the faith, making it even harder to decide what’s appropriate. Although there are different sets of rites and customs, a general rule regarding clothing does exist.

Traditionally the family members will wear white and cover themselves using a cloth. Mourners, on the other hand, are supposed to wear simple, black (dark) clothing.

What to Wear to a Buddhist Funeral?

Due to many different interpretations of the Buddhist faith, the proper funeral attire may vary a bit depending on the culture and location of the rules being practised.

The most widespread belief indicates that family members should wear white and adorn themselves with a headband or an armband, while the mourners should wear black.

However, with Japanese Buddhists, it could be the opposite – family members wear black, and friends wear white. 

The family members may also prefer a different colour, depending on their nationality.

Contact the Family or the Funeral Director

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to the family! You can simply ask them to be sure of what they consider appropriate. 

One more way to find out is to ask the funeral director, who is thoroughly informed on all funeral customs.

However, if you can’t reach a family member or a funeral director (some people don’t feel comfortable doing so), choose to wear clothing with muted colours.

What Type of Clothing Is Inappropriate for a Buddhist Funeral?

Although you may see slight alterations in what adequate funeral attire is, the main rules regarding what’s wrong are the same regardless of location, preference, or culture.

Expensive, flashy clothing is considered inappropriate because it indicates wealth. Wearing jewellery or bright colours is also seen as a display of wealth that doesn’t suit Buddhist values. 

The funeral itself is considered a simple, solemn ritual. Hence, the attire shouldn’t stand out in any way.

Newrest Funerals Is at Your Disposal

At Newrest funerals, we strive to adapt to everyone’s unique interpretation of the faith and ensure all traditional (or any other) elements have been included. Therefore, if there are any uncertainties or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!