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Funeral Festivals in AmericaRituals for the Living$
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Jacqueline S. Thursby

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813123806

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813123806.001.0001

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Funerals as Festivals the Irony of Festivity around Death and its Americanness

Funerals as Festivals the Irony of Festivity around Death and its Americanness

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter One Funerals as Festivals the Irony of Festivity around Death and its Americanness
Source:
Funeral Festivals in America
Author(s):

Jacqueline S. Thursby

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813123806.003.0002

This chapter examines the practice of funerals as festivals in the U.S. and comments on the irony of festivity around death and its Americanness. The events surrounding mourning, memorial or funeral rites, and burial or cremation require sober reflection and response, but for most contemporary Americans, that restrained period of introspection and sorrow does not sustain itself for long. America is a country that celebrates life. And as a festival is a validation and affirmation of the culture and art of a people, the funerary event is a validation and affirmation of the cultural values and intermingling of a clan of family and friends.

Keywords:   funerals, festivals, U.S., death, cultural values, mourning, memorial, burial, cremation

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