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Month: April 2018

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: What does a lotus flower represent? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Lotus flower: an Ancient Egyptian symbol The lotus flower, also known as the water lily, is an important ancient Egyptian symbol.Since the lotus blooms during the day but closes at night, it symbolized the cycle of life and death. Egyptian columns are often topped with a lotus leaf, as you can…

Scraped Graveyards – a Southern Tradition? Understanding Cemetery Symbols #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Scraped Graveyards used to be common Lush green lawns are such a common feature of today’s burial grounds that if you could travel back in time to the 1800’s for a graveyard tour through the rural South, you might be in for a shock. Back then, many graveyards were kept free of…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: What is the Hebrew version of RIP? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] What does RIP stand for? In Christian cemeteries, it’s fairly common to see the acronym “RIP” on headstones. Although we tend to think of that as meaning “rest in peace,” it actually stands for “requiescat in pace.” Since that is Latin for “may h/she rest in peace,” it all works out! Do Jewish headstones…

How did a Victorian Era book influence cemetery symbolism? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] How did a Victorian Era book influence cemetery symbolism? In 1868, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps published a book entitled The Gates Ajar. Phelps’ book tells the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her brother, a soldier who died in the Civil War. After his death, the main character is unable to…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: What’s Spock doing in a Historic Graveyard? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Live long and prosper? If you are a Star Trek fan, you may be surprised to see a pair of hands, seemingly giving Commander Spock’s famous “Live long and prosper” gesture, engraved on a headstone. As it happens, Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the famous TV show, was Jewish. As…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: What are Grave Goods? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] What are Grave Goods? When people visit cemeteries, they often leave items at gravesites such as coins, pebbles, seashells, decorations and items called “grave goods.” Two kinds of grave goods Items left at a gravesite that once belonged to the deceased or that are associated with the deceased, are called “grave…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: The strange evolution from skulls to cherubs #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] How symbols evolve: from skulls to cherubs Just like other symbols, the meaning of skulls depends upon its context in time, place, and religious belief. Skulls, or a skull and crossbones, are frequently seen on early American headstones. In the 16th and 17th century, skulls and other mortality symbols served to…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Why are benches so common in graveyards? #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Why are benches so common in cemeteries? This historic cemetery tradition harkens back to ancient Greece: After erecting a table stone to place food and wine on during grave site celebrations, ancient Greeks often installed a type of stone bench called an exedra. Now the family had a place to sit during their…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Doves can mean many things! #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] What do Doves symbolize? DOVES: In general, when you see dove depicted on headstones in historic cemeteries, they represent innocence, peace, and/ or the Holy Spirit. The meaning of a particular dove varies slightly, however, depending on what it is doing: DOVE FLYING UPWARDS: Stands for the soul’s ascent to Heaven. DOVE FLYING DOWNWARDS:…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Coins on Graves: Truth vs Urban Legend #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Coins on Graves? The practice of leaving coins with the deceased dates back to the ancient Greeks, who believed the rivers Styx and Acheron separated the living from the dead. A ferry trip was required to cross these waters, otherwise the soul of the deceased would be forced to wander the…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Birth of the Garden Cemetery #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] Bodies spilling into the streets -yikes! From the time of the Pilgrims through the 1700’s, American city dwellers were buried in churchyards. Unfortunately, as our cities grew in population, these urban burial grounds became overcrowded. This was especially troublesome during epidemics, when city graveyards were hastily filled with new bodies. From…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Alpha and Omega #cemetery #history #GraveHour

Understanding Cemetery Symbols by Tui Snider [The following is an adapted excerpt from my book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols. I hope you enjoy it! Also, full disclosure: that’s an Amazon affiliate link. If you buy my book after clicking it, I make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.] What do Alpha and Omega look like? Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last. Since Alpha looks like an A and the Greek letter Zeta looks like a Z, people often assume that Zeta is the last letter in their alphabet. Well, surprise! It’s…