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Accepted Paper:

Burial as wedding: a creative ritual solution to an existential crisis   
Gheorghita Geana (Academia Romana)

Paper long abstract:

A moving ritual is performed in Romanian folk culture: when a young person dies before being married, his/her burial is combined with a simulated wedding. Thus, the dead is dressed like a bridegroom/respectively like a bride and a young fir tree is thrust upon the grave. Based on "MioriĊ£a" (The Ewe Lamb) - the Romanians' national ballad, where such an episode occurs -, Mircea Eliade called this ritual (in French) "les noces mioritiques" (in English: "mioritical wedding"). The signification of the mioritical wedding is related to the order of crucial events in human life: birth-marriage-death. An accidental death can trouble this natural succession. Nevertheless, the human being is able to restore the necessary order by defying fatality and drawing toward coincidence the burial and the wedding. As a particular case of the rites of passage, the mioritical wedding proves the creative force that a ritual can involve.

Panel W013
Death and imagination: creative strategies to embrace and avoid the crisis of death
  Session 1