Every culture and religion in the world has odd rites or traditions according to others, but true believers of these traditions are okay with it. Every religion has practices and ceremonies which symbolize the milestones of life, starting from birth, adulthood and marriage to death. Most of such practices sound weird to outsiders. People often practice these rituals as part of their religion. However, these cultural practices are bizarre for the outside world. There are plenty of traditions which are considered taboo for the world. These bizarre traditions are observed worldwide.
10. La Tomatina
Every year, La Tomatina is a Tomato Throwing Festival which is held in Bunol, Valencia, Spain. It is considered world’s biggest tomato fight held on last Wednesday in the month of August on the festive season. The participants have to throw tomatoes and have fun. There are several theories behind this festival. During a Gigantes Y Cabezudos parade in 1945, young adults staged a brawl in the heart of the town, Plaza del Pueblo to be in the event. They picked up tomatoes from the vegetables around and started shooting them. Police tried to stop the fight and forced them to pay the damages.
9. Piercing in Hindu Thaipusam Festival
During the celebration of Thaipusam festival, Hindus pierce different parts of their body to show their devotion to Murugan, a Hindu deity. Basically, it is celebrated in countries with Tamil’s presence, including India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Mauritius, Myanmar and Thailand. They pay their devotion to Lord Murugan’s birth and when he killed a vengeful spirit, Soorapadman with a spear. They pierce the tongue and various parts of the body with large hooks and spears through the face and chest. Some people even attach ropes to their backs to pull large wagons. It becomes more vivid, dramatic and bloody.
8. Bullet Ant Gloves
It is another painful ritual. This initiation ritual is held by the Satere-Mawe tribe of Amazon. When a young guy enters in adulthood, he is sent to the jungle with his friends and a Medicine man to collect bullet ants. These insects have most painful sting which affects just like a bullet hits the body. The Medicine Man feeds these ants with some herbs. When these ants sleep, the Medicine Man puts these ants into a mesh glove. When they wake up, they get very aggressive and furious as they are trapped. Boys have to wear these gloves and survive for at least 10 minutes while dancing to divert their mind off. These young guys have to suffer the pain for 20 times to prove their manhood.
7. Tooth Filling in Balinese Culture
It is among the biggest Hindu rituals. It is practiced on both men and women before marriage and is often held on ceremony. The tooth and eye-tooth are smoothened down. It is believed that this ritual frees the people from all evil forces. Teeth are the symbol of greed, lust, anger, jealousy and doubt. This custom renders an individual spiritually and physically.
6. Yanomami Funeral Ritual
In Yanomami tribe of Brazil and Venezuela, Funeral rituals are very vital to pay tribute to dead relatives to ensure their souls to rest in peace. When a person of the tribe dies, their body is burned. They mix the bone powder and ash in a plantain soup. His family drinks the soup having ash and bone of the dead person. It is believed that his spirit remains alive in the family members forever by drinking the remains of loved one.
5. Bathroom Ban in Tidong
In the Tidong community of Indonesia, weddings have very weird traditions. Groom cannot see the face of his bride until he sings romantic songs for her. The curtain between them is raised when this demand is met. It is not weird actually. Weird things start when groom and bride cannot use bathroom for 3 days and nights after wedding. It is believed that if a couple doesn’t practice this ritual, it brings terrible luck, infidelity, broken marriage or even death of their children. So, the couple can take only minimal amount of drink and food. After three days, they can bath and get back to normal life.
4. Cutting Fingers in Dani Tribe
The Ndani or Dani tribe of New Guinea cut off their fingers to show their grief at funeral. Their faces are also smeared with clay and ashes to display sorrow. They cut their fingers off to show love to someone they loved too much. When a person passes away, his husband or wife cuts off their finger and bury with the dead body. Finger represents soul and body remains together with their partner. The number of fingers they cut represents number of people they love even though all of the fingers are cut.
3. Famadihana – A Dance with the Deceased
Famadihana is a cultural festival in both rural and urban areas of Madagascar. In this funerary tradition, people bring the bodies of their ancestors and turn them into fresh clothes and dance with corpses to live music. It is a regular tradition held once in every 7 years. It is held to show respect to the dead person. The families contribute funds to celebrate this tradition all the year. They construct the burial tomb to place a link between the alive and the dead. The relatives dress well, visit the tomb and see the remains of dead friends and relatives, and invite all close people to the event. The relatives and people dance and sing folk songs. It is believed that the dead gets back to the god and reborn.
2. Throwing Baby
It is another bizarre ritual in this list. The newborn babies are thrown off the temple around 50ft high to catch them in a cloth in India. It is a 500 years old tradition practiced by couples when they are blessed with a baby at Sri Santeswar Temple in Karnataka state. It is observed by both Hindus and Muslims every year in tight security. It is held in December’s first week. Every year, up to 200 babies are thrown when crowds dance and sing.
1. Mourning at Muharram
Muharram is a vital period for Shia Muslims. The festival takes place in first month of Islamic calendar. It is practiced as the Remembrance of Muharram. It marks the death anniversary of the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein ibn Ali as he was killed during the Battle of Karbala by the forces of Umayyad Caliph Yazid II. Muslims of all age groups practice this tradition when they whip the body with special chains having knives and razors attached. It is observed by the Muslims in India, Iran, Pakistan, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq.