Literally: “corpse feast” / meaning: funeral reception
This word may sound like the name of a death metal band playing regularly at Wacken Open Air. However, it describes a rather quiet and peaceful tradition that has been around in many cultures since prehistoric times. So even before Wacken was a thing.
The Leichenschmaus usually takes place immediately after a burial, when families and friends of the deceased gather at a café or a restaurant near the cemetery. The term has been in use at least since the 18th century. There are also a bunch of creative alternatives like Leidmahl (“grief meal”), Traueressen (“sorrow food”) or Tränenbrot (“tear bread”) which are all not without their own level of macabreness.
At a traditional German Leichenschmaus, the focus is on rather casual food like canapés and sheet cake. The good thing is: Beer is usually served at the host’s expense. So if nothing else gives you solace, that most probably will.