Glitter, Glamour, and Graveyards: Meet the Members of New Zealand's Original 'Coffin Club'

Kirstin Fawcett
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Funerals don’t have to be boring, black, and depressing. To liven up their future burials, seniors in New Zealand have formed “Coffin Clubs,” National Geographic reports.

Katie Williams, a former palliative care nurse who lives in the town of Rotorua, New Zealand, founded the nation’s first coffin club in 2010. Today, New Zealand’s Coffin Club community has around 160 members, and the idea has also spread overseas to countries like Ireland.

Members build and decorate their own caskets, and also provide mutual support and care. These get-togethers—which could be described as a twist on arts and crafts circles—demystify death, reduce funeral costs, and give a pop of personality to end-of-life ceremonies, participants say.

Some seniors decorate their coffins with glitter and paint them vibrant shades. Others adorn them with motifs like leprechauns and clovers. You can see a few of these coffins—and meet their creators—by watching the musical video below, which was produced by Loading Docs, a New Zealand documentary group.

[h/t National Geographic]