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In , Parisians were treated to the unusual spectacle of a royal funeral carried out in white, for Leo V, King of Armenia , who died in exile. In , Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands reintroduced white mourning after the death of her husband Prince Henry.

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It has remained a tradition in the Dutch royal family. In , the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands all wore white to their mother's funeral. The custom for the Queens of France to wear deuil blanc [white mourning] was the origin of the White Wardrobe created in by Norman Hartnell for Queen Elizabeth later called Queen Mother. She was required to make a State visit to France while in mourning for her mother. Today, no special dress or behaviour is obligatory for those in mourning in the general population, although ethnic and religious faiths have specific rituals, and black is typically worn at funerals.

Traditionally, however, there were strict social rules to be observed. By the 19th century, mourning behaviour in England had developed into a complex set of rules, particularly among the upper classes. Special caps and bonnets, usually in black or other dark colours, went with these ensembles. There was mourning jewellery , often made of jet.

Jewellery was also occasionally made from the hair of the deceased. The wealthy would wear cameos or lockets designed to hold a lock of the deceased's hair or some similar relic. Widows were expected to wear special clothes to indicate that they were in mourning for up to four years after the death, although a widow could choose to wear such attire for the rest of her life. To change the costume earlier was considered disrespectful to the deceased and, if the widow was still young and attractive, suggestive of potential sexual promiscuity.

Those subject to the rules were slowly allowed to re-introduce conventional clothing at specific times; such stages were known by such terms as "full mourning", "half mourning", and similar descriptions. For half mourning, muted colours such as lilac , grey and lavender could be introduced. Friends, acquaintances, and employees wore mourning to a greater or lesser degree depending on their relationship to the deceased. Mourning was worn for six months for a sibling. Parents would wear mourning for a child for "as long as they feel so disposed". A widow was supposed to wear mourning for two years and was not supposed to enter society for twelve months.

No lady or gentleman in mourning was supposed to attend social events while in deep mourning. In general, servants wore black armbands when there had been a death in the household. However, amongst polite company the wearing of a simple black armband was seen as appropriate only for military men, or others compelled to wear uniform in the course of their duties—a black arm band instead of proper mourning clothes was seen as a degradation of proper etiquette and to be avoided. In the later interbellum period between World War I and World War II , as the frock coat became increasingly rare, the mourning suit consisted of a black morning coat with black trousers and waistcoat, essentially a black version of the morning suit worn to weddings and other occasions, which would normally include coloured waistcoats and striped or checked trousers.

Formal mourning culminated during the reign of Queen Victoria , whose long and conspicuous grief over the death of her husband, Prince Albert , may have had much to do with it. Although fashions began to be more functional and less restrictive for the succeeding Edwardians , appropriate dress for men and women—including that for the period of mourning—was still strictly prescribed and rigidly adhered to.

The customs were not universally supported, with Charles Voysey writing that it "adds needlessly to the gloom and dejection of really afflicted relatives must be apparent to all who have ever taken part in these miserable rites. The rules were gradually relaxed, and it became acceptable practise for both sexes to dress in dark colours for up to a year after a death in the family. By the late 20th century, this no longer applied, and black had been widely adopted by women in cities as a fashionable colour.

Mourning generally followed English forms into the 20th century. Black dress is still considered proper etiquette for attendance at funerals, but extended periods of wearing black dress are no longer expected. However, attendance at social functions such as weddings when a family is in deep mourning is frowned upon. Men who share their father's given name and use a suffix such as "Junior" retain the suffix at least until the father's funeral is complete. In the antebellum South, with social mores that imitated those of England, mourning was just as strictly observed by the upper classes.

In the 19th century, mourning could be quite expensive, as it required a whole new set of clothes and accessories or, at the very least, overdying existing garments and taking them out of daily use. For a poorer family, this was a strain on their resources. At the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , Dorothy explains to Glinda that she must return home because her aunt and uncle cannot afford to go into mourning for her because it was too expensive. A lateth and earlyst century North American mourning phenomenon is the rear window memorial decal.

This is a vinyl window-cling decal memorializing a deceased loved one that is large and is prominently displayed in the rear windows of cars and trucks belonging to close family members and sometimes friends. It often contains birth and death dates, although some contain sentimental phrases or designs as well, and this form of memorialization is considered a mainly "lower-SES" custom. Often, black bunting is hung from homes and buildings. In the case of the death of royalty, the entire country adopts mourning dress and black and purple bunting is displayed from most buildings.

State mourning or, in the case of a monarchy , court mourning refers to displays of mourning behavior on the death of a public figure or member of a royal family. The degree and duration of public mourning is generally decreed by a protocol officer.

It was not unusual for the British court to declare that all citizens should wear full mourning for a specified period after the death of the monarch or that the members of the court should wear full- or half-mourning for an extended time. On the death of Queen Victoria January 22, , the Canada Gazette published an "extra" edition announcing that court mourning would continue until January 24, It directed the public to wear deep mourning until March 6, and half-mourning until April 17, All over the world, states usually declare a period of 'official mourning' after the death of a Head of State.

The signs may vary but usually include the lowering or posting half-mast of flags on public buildings. In contrast, the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom is not flown at half-mast, because there is always a monarch on the throne. In Tonga , the official mourning lasts for a year; only afterwards is the royal heir crowned the new king.


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On the other hand, the principle of continuity of the State must be respected. The principle is reflected in the French saying " Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! Regardless of the formalities of mourning, power must be handed on; if the succession is uncontested, that is best done immediately. Yet, a short interruption of work in the civil service may result from one or more days of closing the offices, especially on the day of the State funeral.

There are five grades of mourning obligations in the Confucian Code. A man is expected to honor most of those descended from his great-great-grandfather, and most of their wives. One's father and mother would merit 27 months. One's grandfather on the male side, as well as one's wife, would be grade two, or twelve months of austerities.

A paternal uncle is grade three at nine months.

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Grade four is reserved for one's father's first cousin, maternal grandparents, siblings and sister's children five months. First cousins once removed, second cousins and a man's wife's parents were to get grade five three months. Orthodox Christians usually hold the funeral either the day after death or on the third day, and always during the daytime.

In traditional Orthodox communities the body of the departed would be washed and prepared for burial by family or friends, and then placed in the coffin in the home. A house in mourning would be recognizable by the lid of the coffin, with a cross on it, and often adorned with flowers, set on the porch by the front door. Special prayers are held on the third, seventh or ninth number varies in different national churches , and 40th days after death ; the third, sixth and ninth or twelfth month; [16] and annually thereafter in a memorial service , [17] for up to three generations.

Kolyva is ceremoniously used to honor the dead. Sometimes men in mourning will not shave for the 40 days. When an Orthodox bishop dies, a successor is not elected until after the 40 days of mourning are completed, during which period his diocese is said to be " widowed ". The 40th day has great significance in Orthodox religion.

That is the period during which soul of deceased wanders on earth. On the 40th day ascension of his soul occurs. Therefore, it's the most important day in mourning period, when special prayers should be held on grave site of deceased. As in the Roman Catholic rites, there can be symbolic mourning.

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During Holy Week , some temples in the Church of Cyprus draw black curtains across the icons. The European social forms are, in general, forms of Christian religious expression transferred to the greater community.

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Before the liturgical reform, black was the ordinary color for funeral Masses; in the revised use, several options are available, though black is the norm. Christian churches often go into mourning symbolically during the period of Lent to commemorate the sacrifice and death of Jesus. In more formal congregations, parishioners also dress according to specific forms during Holy Week, particularly on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday , when it is common to wear black or sombre dress or, as mentioned, the liturgical color purple. Death is not seen as the final "end", but is seen as a turning point in the seemingly endless journey of the indestructible " atman " or soul through innumerable bodies of animals and people.

Hence, Hinduism prohibits excessive mourning or lamentation upon death, as this can hinder the passage of the departed soul towards its journey ahead: "As mourners will not help the dead in this world, therefore the relatives should not weep, but perform the obsequies to the best of their power. Hindu mourning is described in dharma shastras. Traditionally the body is cremated within 24 hours after death; however, cremations are not held after sunset or before sunrise. Immediately after the death, an oil lamp is lit near the deceased, and this lamp is kept burning for three days.

Hinduism associates death with ritual impurity for the immediate blood family of the deceased, hence during these mourning days, the immediate family must not perform any religious ceremonies except funerals , must not visit temples or other sacred places, must not serve the sages holy men , must not give alms, must not read or recite from the sacred scriptures, nor can they attend social functions such as marriages, parties, etc. The family of the deceased is not expected to serve any visiting guests food or drink.

It is customary that the visiting guests do not eat or drink in the house where the death has occurred. The family in mourning are required to bathe twice a day, eat a single simple vegetarian meal, and try to cope with their loss. On the day on which the death has occurred, the family do not cook; hence usually close family and friends will provide food for the mourning family. White clothing the color of purity is the color of mourning, and many will wear white during the mourning period. The male members of the family do not cut their hair or shave, and the female members of the family do not wash their hair until the 10th day after the death.

If the deceased was young and unmarried, the "Narayan Bali" is performed by the Pandits. The Mantras of "Bhairon Paath" are recited.

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This ritual is performed through the person who has given the Mukhagni Ritual of giving fire to the dead body. The main ceremony involves a fire sacrifice, in which offerings are given to the ancestors and to gods, to ensure the deceased has a peaceful afterlife. Pind Sammelan is performed to ensure the involvement of the departed soul with that of God. Typically after the ceremony, the family cleans and washes all the idols in the family shrine; and flowers, fruits, water and purified food are offered to the gods.

Then, the family is ready to break the period of mourning and return to daily life. This mourning is held in the commemoration of Imam Al Husayn ibn Ali, who was martyred along with his 72 companions by Yazid bin Muawiyah. Mourning is observed in Islam by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry. Loved ones and relatives are to observe a three-day mourning period.