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What Not to Wear to a Buddhist Funeral?

If you’ve never attended a Buddhist funeral, you’re probably baffled about what is appropriate for you to wear. You want to be respectful of the deceased and the family members but worry about appearing rude because of your clothing.

Well, it’s common to question the burial etiquette of a religion you‘re not familiar with. Even people who practice the Buddhist faith get confused sometimes!

However, there are general rules of what is considered inappropriate for a Buddhist funeral. No matter the location, preferences, and culture, you should avoid wearing expensive, flashy clothes! Jewellery also goes against their etiquette as it’s considered a display of wealth.

The Confusion Arises

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:

  1. Expensive clothes;
  2. Bright colors;
  3. 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.

Check With Us and Be Informed

We strive to be informed on all funeral customs, both traditional and modern and therefore ensure everything occurs according to your beliefs. Hence, don’t hesitate to reach out if you require guidance – we’re on call 24/7!