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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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Explaining the Festival and the American Way of Death Saying Good-bye

Explaining the Festival and the American Way of Death Saying Good-bye

(p.126) Chapter Six Explaining the Festival and the American Way of Death Saying Good-bye
Funeral Festivals in America

Jacqueline S. Thursby

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter attempts to explain the reasons behind the so-called funeral festivals in the U.S. It cites an expert's opinion that the primary and most general function of the festival is to renounce and then to announce culture such that the funeral is also a festival celebration that renounces cultural death and announces, or affirms, a continuation of cultural life of the deceased in memory and perhaps literally. It also discusses the consistency of the components and behavior modalities of the funerary ritual with the festival and explores the ritual meanings of foods and celebratory banquets in terms of conspicuous consumption.

Keywords:   funeral festivals, U.S., culture, cultural death, cultural life, funerary ritual, food, funeral banquet

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