A pyre (from the Greek: πυρά, pyrá, from πυρ, pýr, fire) is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite. As a form of cremation, a body is placed upon the pyre which is then set on fire.

Traditionally, pyres are used for the cremation of the deceased in Hinduism. In England, the coffin is placed on an unlit pyre; however, in India, the pyre is lit. Pyres are uncommon in the Western world in modern times and have been replaced by the idea of indoor cremation in a crematorium. In a Viking funeral, the pyre was built on a ship, which was usually shaped like a dragon's snout.

Other uses

Pyres are used in celebrations and remembrance, in services such as Guy Fawkes Night and Swiss National Day. They were used in the Sobibór extermination camp to cremate bodies as opposed to the crematoriums used in most camps.

Also used to burn witches.

See also

External links

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