The wake, or time to watch over the dead, is an extended custom among the different religions, where relatives and friends of the deceased gather to give the last goodbye to the person they have just lost, an opportunity to celebrate life and say goodbye to a loved one, but, Do you know the true origin of this peculiar custom?
Why did the dead begin to watch?
The origin of the wakes goes back to medieval period where health and hygiene conditions were not ideal. Regardless of religion, the bodies rested in the grave, or even in the home of the deceased, after death, but for 3 days, relatives and friends came to say goodbye.
Why were not the bodies buried at the time?
Given the time in which we find ourselves, in the middle ages, the bodies did not have the care that we have today, so the wait to bury the body became unbearable. Decomposition and odors involved the duel, then, why did they wait?
El ] tin was the order of the day, dishes and kitchen utensils were built with this material, and there were many cases of people who had suffered poisoning by this material, producing a state of catalepsy for several days.  catalepsy leaves the body of the seemingly dead sufferer. The vital signs are reduced to the minimum, undetectable at that time and what could look like a corpse, was simply the effect of tin in the system.
The wake then became the last hope of relatives to detect signs of life in the body and to show that it was only a passing state produced by poisoning.
This custom is repeated around the globe and the motives are always the same. In Ireland the culprit was the lead used in the barrels that fermented the much appreciated beer.
Even the Jews, with far fewer cases of catalepsy among their dead, kept the sepulcher open for 3 days in the hope that the deceased will show signs of life.
The customs of velar of our days
Depending on the religion and place in the world you are in, the different ways of watching a dead person vary. Until not long ago, it was done in the privacy of the home.
One room housed the deceased's body for a few days while family and friends visited him to remember his life and give his last goodbye . The relatives were given chocolate, food or biscuits to make the evening more bearable.
Currently, there are few places where the regulations do not prohibit the wake in the residence, and takes place in a public wake
The last "fashion" of watching the dead
In Puerto Rico now they watch over the dead as if they were still alive. Seated, with his favorite clothes a most natural position and even with his eyes open . It is the practice that is spreading in this country when it comes to celebrating the lives of the deceased.
Have you veiled a loved one at home? Do you have a custom that is repeated at all wakes?
Share with the world so that the origin of the wake is known
Cover image: HBO