Terming it as “turning of the bone”, the residents of Madagascar celebrate Famadihana every 7 years or so. On the festival day, the crypts of the dead family members will be opened and the remains of dead ancestors are brought out to be wrapped in a new cloth.
With the live music being played, the people then dance in front of the corpses and also distribute the meat, by sacrificing the animals, to guests and other family members.The festival is considered as a day to show their love on one another. The elders explain their children about the importance of the dead who are lying before them.
The people over there, strongly believe that the human beings are made from the bodies of the ancestors but not from the mud. That is the reason they hold their forefathers in high regard. Adding to it, they also believe that unless the bodies decompose completely, the dead does not leave permanently and are able to communicate with the living.
So until the remains have been gone forever, the same amount of love will be showered on them through the Famadihana festival every time they celebrate it. A few consider it as a costly affair due to the lavish meals for the guests and also new clothes for everyone, along with the dead.
But it will be considered as a serious breach, if a family stays away from celebrating Famadihana, even when they can afford it. Everyone has their own beliefs about the tradition. While a few opine that it is not possible to talk to the dead, the Catholic Church considers it as a cultural event and not a religious one. But whoever believes it, will celebrate it with much belief and dedication.