The “Famadihana” literally means “the turning of the bodies” and is a Malagasy tradition not only to celebrate life and kinship but also help. The Malagasy people of Madagascar have built a way of life around death – during the dry winter months, famadihana ceremonies, known as “the turning of the. Famadihana: Madagascar: Daily life and social customs: aside from burial, is the famadihana, in which the bones of the ancestors are removed from the family .

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Such a fantastic way to truly immerse yourself into their culture — I love all of your photos — really captures the celebration. Guests and relatives travel for miles to attend the two day celebration, usually bringing a donation in malagwsy form of money or alcohol.

Articles – Madagascar’s famadihana – the turning of the bones | Bradt Travel Guides

The hosting family spends a tremendous amount of money on the tomb and the festivities. How to access your home’s equity. When the festival ends, the bodies must be returned to the tomb as the sun slowly retires beyond the horizon. A sentence says it all: So, dead bodies that have not yet been exhumed for the first time mwlagasy neither a part of the living nor the ancestors,” says Mamphionona.

They believe that the dead do not move on to the next life immediately but remain in the land of the living until their bodies have completely decomposed. Zebu horns are scattered on the tomb as a symbol of wealth on Sakalava tombs, zebu horns are only a decoration, not an indication of status.

Famadihana | Malagasy custom |

A moment of rest. Does it still exist when we die?

The dead enter the realm of the spirits. When everyone has gathered, the corpses are delicately pulled from the tomb or crypt and wrapped in straw floor mats.


It seemed like it should be so sad, yet it was a celebration but also with grief present. It is believed that the dead will roam and terrorize the people afterwards, if they are not familiar with their final ramadihana. There were no tourists for miles, another reason why Madagascar is really worth visiting!

A magnificent island for your travel list. No wonder the dead wanted to leave for a while. The family members who organised famadihana.

The whole extended family attends; we saw hundreds of people from all walks of maalagasy, well-dressed women and bedraggled, barefoot children covered in snot. Guests and relatives travel for miles to attend the two day celebration, usually bringing a donation in the form of money or alcohol.

In early times burial sites were near valleys or in marshes. But the centuries-old practice, known as famadihana, is problematic at a time when plague is famadohana. Famidihana, or ‘the turning of the bones’, is a sacred ritual practiced by some ethnic groups in Madagascar. With the introduction of cement, a mlaagasy design was added. As one Malagasy man explained to the BBC, “It’s important because it’s our way of respecting the dead. Animals are sacrificed during the ritual and the meat is distributed to guests and family members, and malayasy community elders explain the importance of the ritual to the younger generations of the Malagasy people.

Enter your email address below and click the button to subscribe to our newsletter. Famacihana post is gold. People dancing, circling the tomb with the dead held aloft, making them dance. Pieces of which are taken home as lucky charms.

The festivities begin and guests drink, converse, and dance with their forebears.

Buried in family graves, the dead are cold and bored, and they miss their families. The smell of death, of decayed flesh.


Early missionaries discouraged the practice and Evangelical Christian Malagasy have abandoned the practice in increasing numbers.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. My curiosity won, and I kalagasy stepped into the grave. Travel writer Hilary Bradt, who has attended the famadihana celebrations, has described the meaning she ascribed to these unique rituals: The custom is based upon a belief that the spirits of the dead do not join the superior world of the ancestors until after the body has decomposed completely, and until that time, the spirit of the deceased still lingers and is able to communicate with the living.

The tombs of the Merina ethnic group are built partially underground with a chamber in which the bodies of ancestors are kept on shelves, wrapped in silk cloth. The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts. Some of the poor do not have family crypts, so they save up for several years to be able to build one, and then afmadihana a festival for their own dead ancestors.

For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan. A Feast for the Dead. Stars Screen Binge Culture Media.


Following the dressing of the deceased, a great party is held with music, dancing, and a huge feast among the villagers. Underwater explorers in Madagascar have made an incredible discovery — a 50 kg block of silver with inscriptions, which is now under armed guard on Sainte Marie malagsy off the east coast of Wow, what an interesting tradition!

What is the universe? It must have been a moving and impressive experience.