Every country, society and religion has some unique traditions and customs which are followed by its people. Each tradition holds a special significance to the followers but may seem weird to the people of other societies. Very often we come across certain customs which make us question the rationality and logic behind them. However, there are some customs, which are so bizarre that it will make your head spin, jaws drop, and heart jump.
Here is a list of 14 bizarre customs that will certainly pop up every reader’s eyes:
- Tooth Filing
It is one of the biggest and most important customs in the Hindu Balinese. In this ceremony tooth and eye-tooth are smoothened in both male and female members of the society. People in Bali believe that this helps the person to free himself from all the evil forces. It symbolizes his entry into adulthood from adolescence. The ceremony must be completed before marriage or else is incorporated with the marriage ceremony.
- Finger Cutting:
This ceremony is performed by the Dani (or Ndani) tribes of the Baliem valley in West Papua, New Guinea. People of this tribe cut off their fingers as a way of expressing grief for the deceased at funerals. For example, if a person in Dani’s tribe passes away, people closest to the deceased like wife or a husband will cut off his/her finger and it will be buried together with the dead body.
- Baby Throwing:
This is a very old ritual which is celebrated by the couples at a temple in India. At Sri Santeswar temple near Indi, in the state of Karnataka, couples throw their new born babies from 50 ft and people standing on the grond catch them in a cloth. This ritual is performed by both Hindus and Muslims every year in the first week of December. It is believed that this ritual brings health prosperity and good luck to new born babies.
- Feeding the Dead:
It is a strange ritual in the Roman society. In the Vatican of Rome, pipes are attached to the graves and these pipes are led to the outside of the graveyard. People feed the dead by pouring honey, wine and food stuff into this pipe.
- Jump the Baby
El Colacho, meaning Jump the baby is a 400 years old custom of Spain. In this, infants are laid on the mattress on the ground and a person dressed as a devil jump over them by running over the streets. It is believed that performing this will keep the new born safe and free from the evil forces.
- Kanamara Matsuri:
This custom is famous among the prostitute of Japan. Held in every spring at Kanayama Shrine of Kawasaki, people walk across the streets of the town hosting a big wooden male sexual organ in air. This ritual is performed by sex workers, wishing and praying for their protection from STD’s.
- Monkey Buffet:
Rituals don’t have to be old to be strange and weird. Monkey Buffet is a perfect example to prove this. Held at the temples of Lopburi ( two hours north of Bangkok) since 1989, a mountain containing fruits, vegetables and even cakes are made and the local population of monkeys are allowed to feast on it. Residents of the place dress as monkey and the streets are also decorated with monkey art. It is basically a tribute to the monkeys in form of a ritual.
- Carrying Pregnant Women over Burning Coal:
All of us must have heard and even seen in the movies, people walking on burning coals bare feet. It might shock you to know that in China it is a widely performed ritual. It is believed that if a man lifts his pregnant wife in his arms, and walks on the burning coal bare feet, the wife will have an easy labor and the delivery process of the baby will be smooth.
- Skull Binding
It is a bizarre and weird tradition in the Mayan culture which is performed to demonstrate the social status of a person. The skull of a child as small as a month is deformed by distorting the normal growth of the skull, till he becomes six months old. It is believed that people with deformed and elongated head are more intelligent, and of higher status and closer to the heavenly spirits.
- Hanging Coffins
Hanging Coffins is an ancient traditions followed in many parts of China, Indonesia and Philippines. It is believed that hanging the coffins on walls would prevent the body of the deceased from being taken away by the beasts and also his soul would be blessed by the almighty.
- Muharram Mourning:
It is the annual celebration in the Islamic countries that is celebrated to honor the sacrifice of Muhammad’s grandson Hussain. Hussain was killed along with the 72 warriors in the battle of Karbala. In this custom, people whip themselves and go on mourning processions to remember the sacrifice of the great Hussain.
- Don’t Show Up On Time:
Reaching on time is considered a big taboo in the culture of Venezuela. It is considered rude and the person is considered greedy, if someone arrives on the scheduled time. It is advisable to reach at least 15 minutes later than the scheduled time.
- Living with the Dead
This custom is observed in the ethnic group “Toraja” of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Due to poverty, it used to take months for the family members to raise sufficient money for the funeral ceremony of the deceased. Hence, till then the dead body is wrapped with special garbs and kept inside the home. It is also believed that by keeping the body of the deceased in this way, they could preserve the soul till the body is buried.
- Oops!!! Don’t Ask For Salt:
In Egypt, if someone is invited for having food at someone’s home, the guest should not ask for salt for any dish if he/she wants to. Asking for salt at the host’s place is considered insulting in Egypt.