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The coffin, sometimes referred to as the “new living room,” is very comfortable, made like a bed with a pillow stuffed with birch bark or wood shavings.

Mourners place objects in the coffin that the body might need after death such as money, food, favorite belongings, and reflections of status or occupation.

Traditionally, men carry the coffin on their backs to the cemetery where the funeral will take place.

At the funeral, a priest performs the “seeing off” ceremony, praying over the body and allowing mourners to throw dirt on the grave, symbolically incorporating the corpse into the earth.

For fear of waking the newly dead, mourning does not begin during the washing or dressing.

Inappropriate funeral etiquette can also wake the dead.

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Some are extremely common and practiced by the vast majority of the population, while some are extremely obscure and could be more regionally based. Sorcerers primarily use black magic to summon devils.In folk tradition, belts mark out an individual’s private space and prove that he or she is a member of society and protect the wearer from dark forces.After washing and dressing the body, the body is laid out in the house for three days before it is put it in the coffin.In a Dual-Faith setting (in which Orthodoxy and folk tradition are combined) this ritual prepares the deceased’s for his or her meeting with God.They then dress the body in all-white, handmade clothing left slightly unfinished because it belongs not in this world but the “other world.” In Christianity, the white clothing worn by the corpse represents the pure life the deceased promised to live when he or she was baptized.Russians associate “good” deaths with bringing good harvests while attributing storms, droughts and other forms of destruction to “bad” deaths.

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