Outdoor funeral pyres were once performed by ancient Vikings to honor their dead, and it is an accepted practice by Buddhist and Hindu religions. In the U.S. the practice is largely taboo. The service is offered to a small number of people who live in Colorado by the Crestone End of Life Project.
The southern mountain town of Crestone has held 18 cremations since they began in January 2008. Some of the residents initially opposed the idea due to traffic concerns; therefore, the services are limited due to the community’s wishes. The open-air pyres are performed for people regardless of religion and offer an alternative to traditional funeral services.
To read the full Washington Post article about funeral pyres go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/31/AR2011013100570.html?wpisrc=nl_pmheadline