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 Pyres are uncommon in the Western world in modern times and have been replaced by the idea of indoor cremation in a crematorium.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.
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.
Smoke from Burning Pyres 'Will Kill Humans'; EXCLUSIVE: Official Report Reveals Risk to Old and Asthmatics Is as Bad as Killer Smog
Apr 29, 2001; Byline: IAN GALLAGHER HE devastating health risks posed by foot-and-mouth funeral pyres have been outlined in a Government...
In an English Field, a Hindu's Funeral Pyre; AFTER WAILING RELATIVES SAY THEIR FAREWELLS TO DROWNED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, POLICE INVESTIGATE FLOUTING OF LAW BANNING BURNING OF BODIES IN THE OPEN
Jul 13, 2006; Byline: ANDY DOLAN A COFFIN burns on a funeral pyre, as relatives wail their grief. It looks like a scene from the banks...