|Image source: Massimo Branco|
Famadihana, or 'turning of the bones' is tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. People remove their relatives from the family crypts, approximately every seven years, and replace their burial shrouds with fresh cloth. Then, in the embodiment of the Madagascan saying "alive, we live together in the homes; dead, we live together in the tombs", they then proceed to carry the bodies and dance around with them to live music playing near the tomb.
|Image source: Joao Silva for The New York Times|
They perform the ceremony to both honour and celebrate their ancestors, while also reuniting their whole family at the same time. It is also part of a belief that the dead only join the world of the ancestors after many years, when the body's decomposition is complete, and various rituals have been performed.