The accepted mode of getting otherwise unobtainable information is to go visit the cranky old hermit living in the mountains. It's just the sensible thing to do. So, naturally, everyone takes their monthly excursion to the hermit's hovel to consult him on everything, from lock-jaw to lovesickness, necromancers to nasal viruses.
Now, if everyone's always visiting the poor old hermit, there's going to be an enormous queue... "Wellcome to the Hermitt's Hovele, Please Take Ye a Number and Have Ye a Seate" reads the sign outside the packed dwelling.
Imagine the poor hermit, having retreated into the mountains to escape this precise situation...
A certain culture believes that evil can live beyond the grave. They also believe that the destruction of the dead body can keep that one from coming back. Destroying the newly deceased body can destroy the soul if done properly. They first burn the body for 24 hours, smash the remains as well as possible, then burn the what is left for another 24 hours.