Ancestor Worship 1

Topics: Religion, Ritual, Death Pages: 2 (502 words) Published: June 6, 2012
Ancestor worship still exists in North America through many different heritages in many different ways. Belief in ancestral spirits varies from cultures and religions and are plentiful. Science has tried and tried to prove that there are spirits that linger, with popular shows like Ghost Hunters showing evidence of some sort of supernatural presence living with family members. They often reveal a spirit that helps them, or has a story to tell about their past to their descendents.

People from Mexico, and of Mexican descent, still celebrate the Day of the Dead. They take this religious day very seriously. The people of Mexico celebrate this day by building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. Also, the Hopi from Arizona believe that ancestral spirits join the kachinas, powerful beings that bring rain. When a person dies, his or her spirit becomes mist and clouds that return to the people in the form of rain, helping to sustain crops in an arid environment. The Hopi view themselves as eternally linked in cycles of life and death, and they pray to and honor their ancestors so that they will be blessed with rain. Ancestor worship is predominant in India among Hindus. In India, when a person passes away, the family observes 10 day mourning period, generally called shraddha. Six month and a year hence they observe the ritual of Tarpan in which the family offers tributes to the deceased. During these rituals, the family prepares the food items which the deceased liked, offers food to the deceased. They offer this food to cows and crows as well. They are also obliged to offer siddha to eligible Bramhins. Only after these rituals the family members are allowed to eat. Each year, on the particular date according the Hindu...
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