Since the Corona pandemic, more Latvians choose for cremation


Eastern Europe


Coffin that is moved into the furnace. Photo Unsplash,

More Latvians chose cremation instead of a funeral. And fewer organise feasts afterwards. The Covid pandemic marks a change in Latvian funeral traditions.

According to Edmunds Štreihfelds, president of the Latvian Association of Undertakers, the limits of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years and the available funds for funerals are determining factors in why Latvian funerals are not as big as ten years ago. At the same time, people still try to stick to traditions. This reports the Latvian news portal LSM.

According to Štreihfelds, the traditions have not changed drastically. “Perhaps there were a few technical things: in the period when we had the constraints imposed by the pandemic, people used crematorium services more, without ceremony, with the thought that the urn would then be buried in the cemetery, with dignity and honour [..]. If I remember, 30 years ago, people hired a brass quartet and a vocal quarter. Then, as the years passed, that demand has narrowed for purely financial reasons.”

Chief of the Riga Municipal Cemetery Administration, Gints Zēla, also said that burial traditions have not changed. Although the number of cremations is increasing, people do not yet choose this option as actively as in other countries.


There have also been changes in funeral feasts. Edijs Orlovskis, the banquet organiser of the “Svetki jums” catering company, says that due to the pandemic, the demand for funeral feasts decreased, and the traditional way of holding them has changed. “First of all, there are not so many funeral feasts compared to what it was like ten years ago. Of course, it is related to the situation in the world that such a funeral feast in its traditional framework, where everyone comes to remember the departed at one common table, has changed a lot, and it could also be said that it has modernised. This concept is more about standing food near the burial place. For the most part, yes, we have encountered the fact that they are smaller and maybe even cold snacks only and without hot dishes.”



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