Due to many existing denominations of the Buddhist faith, deciding what is right or wrong can be a bit difficult. The interpretation of specific rites and customs varies depending on the geographic location and preferences. What is practiced in one culture can be excluded in another.
But, if we focus on the beliefs that are common to all forms of Buddhism–the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and the pursuit of modesty and compassion, we can single out things that all consider inappropriate. So, although it’s a bit tricky to determine what is adequate funeral attire, it’s not that hard to determine what isn’t!
What Should You Not Wear to a Buddhist Funeral?
The Buddhist funeral should occur in a calm and peaceful manner. Anything that would stand out and disturb that peace goes against the Buddhist’s funeral etiquette.
Hence, you shouldn’t wear:
- Expensive clothes;
- Bright colors;
- Flashy jewelry.
All of the above is seen as a display of wealth, which goes against Buddhist rules.
Generally, avoid showing up in jeans, short-sleeved shirts, and trainers (revealing clothes is inappropriate funeral attire, no matter the religion).
What to Wear to a Buddhist Funeral?
Most commonly, the family members wear white and adorn themselves with a headband or an armband. The mourners, on the other hand, wear black. However, in some cultures (like with Japanese Buddhists), it’s the opposite–the mourners wear white, and family members black.
The best option would be to ask the family directly or check with a funeral director. In that way, you’ll know for sure what would be appropriate for you to wear.