The Great Cemetery

Symbols of the Great Cemetery: Butterfly

Probably the most widespread tombstone symbol one can find in the Great Cemetery is the butterfly (sometimes depicted as a moth). It appears first at the turn of the 19th century. The message is clear – butterfly symbolizes the victory of life over death. Why butterfly? The whole idea comes from the natural cycle of development this insect goes through that is completed by becoming an adult butterfly. The stage of a caterpillar (life) is replaced by pupa (death) from which later a butterfly emerges (resurrection). It is also used as the symbol for the soul leaving the body of the deceased.