Funeral Flower Etiquette in Singapore
Flowers play an important role in many life events such as birthdays, weddings, funerals. When it comes to funerals, they’re used as an expression to remember and celebrate the life of the deceased.
With different kinds of varieties available, it can be tricky to pinpoint which ones are suitable for the occasion, but that’s exactly what this guide is for.
Whether you’re arranging or attending a funeral, we listed the most common and appropriate flowers you can purchase for funerals in Singapore, arranged per religion.
For Christian/Catholic Funerals
When it comes to Christian or Catholic funerals, you can consider giving floral arrangements with the following flowers:
- Chrysanthemums – Called “mums” for short, they universally symbolise grief. It’s the most common flower used in funerals across various cultures.
- Lilies – They symbolise the restored innocence of the soul of the departed.
- Carnations – They symbolise eternal grief, love, and loyalty.
- Orchids – They represent everlasting love and affection for the deceased.
- Tulips – They symbolise positivity and a fresh start.
Regardless of your chosen variety, it’s best to go for white flowers. Generally, they represent purity, grief, and peace.
For Christian or Catholic funerals, you may choose to give flower baskets, flower stands, wreaths, or floral crosses.
For Buddhist/Taoist Funerals
As for Buddhist or Taoist funerals, guests often choose to give the following varieties:
- Chrysanthemums – Mums generally represent grief and lamentation.
- Lilies/Calla Lilies – Apart from innocence, calla lilies hold a special meaning among Buddhists especially. It symbolises resurrection and rebirth.
- Roses – White roses represent spirituality, purity, and innocence.
When giving flowers to either Buddhist or Taoist families, many usually go for white and yellow flower combinations. Condolence flower stands, funeral sprays, and condolence wreaths are also common arrangement options.
Under any circumstances, be sure to avoid giving red flowers to the family of the deceased. In Chinese culture, red connotes happiness, and is usually reserved for more joyous occasions.
Therefore, giving red flowers is considered highly inappropriate for Buddhist or Taoist funerals.
For Hindu Funerals
It’s not customary for guests to give flowers to the deceased’s family during a Hindu wake or funeral. Some guests may choose to send flowers before the wake, but it’s not normally expected.
That’s because giving flowers during the funeral proceedings is generally considered to be a distraction, which is believed to give negative karma to the deceased.
Instead, one good way to show your sympathies to the grieving family is by giving them fruit baskets at the end of the 13-day mourning period.
For Muslim Funerals
Giving flowers to the family of the deceased during a Muslim funeral is often a debatable topic. Some cultures and ethnic groups allow flowers while others don’t.
Hence, it’s always best to check in with the family to see whether or not giving sympathy flowers is appropriate. Often, flowers don’t really play a role in Muslim funerals considering its fast-paced nature.