10 Weird Traditions Around the World

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Living as we do in India, it comes as no surprise to anyone when we smear bright colours onto each others’ faces and persons every March, toss clay elephant idols into the sea at August, gaze through mesh sieves at our husbands’ faces after starving for over 12 hours once a year (indignation and contempt from feminists and women’s activists notwithstanding) and gamble away our hard earned every Diwali to ‘invite the goddess of wealth.’

But those of you who think America, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world are saner and less silly, think again. Countries all over the world have their share of really weird stuff too.

We at the CD blog have compiled a set of the strangest traditions around the globe for you!

1. ‘Possum Drops’ – Hanging Your Possum for FUN! 

You know how New Year’s Eve usually is, never complete without the alcohol, the awkward kissing at midnight and the firecrackers. But in Brasstown, North Carolina, a live possum in a plexiglass container is lowered from a pole outside a drugstore. There is no special reason that we could find for this. Fun seems to be the most obvious answer. Though not for the possum, of course, especially if it has a fear of heights.

2. ‘La Tomatina’ OR Let’s Play Holi (with Tomatoes)

In the tiny town of Buñol near the Mediterranean, occupants several million kilograms of tomatoes at each other. Much revelry and dancing takes place, though there are strict rules such as “No T shirt ripping must take place” (good thinking!) and “Tomatoes must be squashed before they are hurled to avoid injury.” 

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Our tomatina (@ Rs. 32 bhav/kg) Source: thehindu.com

3. Spider-Web Decoration OR How to be cheap during Holiday Season

Fairy lights and silvery stars are now passé. In Ukraine, the Yuletide is celebrated by bedecking your Christmas trees with…spider webs. Legend has it that a poor widow living with her many children had no money to buy tree decorations. They awoke on Christmas morning to find that the creatures had industriously spun their web overnight, and were delighted to find their tree all silvery gold. Clearly, people had different standards back then.

4. ‘El Colacho’ Baby Jumping OR…well, Jumping over Babies

Organised to keep the devils away, this is exactly what it sounds like; babies are places in a row on the ground as jumpers take their run-up and aim to jump over the lying, crying infants. Crowds gather to watch this great athletic feat. Despite injuries occurring during the jump, this festival is still getting constant popularity in Spain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzJBpVVGcWw

5. ‘Kiviaq’ OR WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST EAT?

Forget the pizzas and chicken, every winter Greenland celebrates by cooking kiviaq, a dish made of fermented sea birds. Firstly, a dead seal’s skin is prepared, stuffed with about 500 little auk birds, sewn up, smeared with eel fat and left under a pile of rocks to ferment for anywhere between 3 to 18 months.  Um...yum?

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Source: myths-made-real.blogspot.in

6. Blackening the Bride OR SAW-5

Scottish brides to be are taken out by their friends for a ‘surprise’ bachelorette party which involves their being pelted with dead fish, curdled milk and all kinds of garbage, after which she is tied to a tree. The belief is that she is now ready to withstand anything that marriage brings. While this might actually be quite true, we still think this might be a little harsh. The only redeeming feature is the compulsory night of drinking that follows her incarceration.

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Source: emlii.com

7. ‘Zombies of  Toraja’ OR The Walking Dead 

As funerals sometimes can be costly and intricate ceremonies, some families can’t afford an initial proper burial. As a result, they place the dead body in a temporary coffin. And when they are able to maintain the fund, the corpse is raised from the dead and walks to its new resting place. Afterlife is an important part of the religious beliefs of Toraja people, an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ8AEokTxJI

8.‘Ikipalin- The Finger-cutting tradition’ OR Till Death Do Our Fingers Part 

Instead of crying or mourning their dead traditionally, the Dani people of West Papua, New Guinea believe in doing it another way. The women and children of the deceased have to cut off their own fingers to drive away evil spirits and provide a medium by which to express their sorrow. Though the ritual is now banned (thank goodness), several older clan members lack a digit or two.

9. Walking over Fire: In China, men have to carry their brides over a bed of hot coals while entering their homes for the first time. This is apparently to ensure that the woman has an easy, successful labour when the time comes to have children. Women all over the world clearly aren’t complaining about this one.

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Source: elist10.com

10. ‘Toilet Slurpies’ OR Drinking from the Toilet on your Wedding Day

Newlyweds in France are forced to drink leftovers from their wedding out of a toilet bowl. Nowadays, chocolate and champagne are used as a substitute, but still served out of a toilet. The idea was to give the bride and groom strength before their wedding night.

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Source: cracked.com

 

Feature Image – Source

 

 

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