Craziest Traditions From Around The World – Culture is weird and some of these strange rituals are straight up bizarre and creepy! From self-mutilation and firework battles to baby dropping and cannibalism…
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This is the 10 craziest traditions from around the world.
Up first in tenth place, we have the Hindu tradition of Thaipusam piercings which takes place across India and in other Hindu communities across the world. During the celebration of the religious holiday Thaipusam, Hindus show their devotion to Lord Murugan by piercing various parts of their bodies.
Lord Murugan, who is one of the earliest Hindu gods dating back to around the third century BC, is said to have killed a vengeful spirit, Soorapadman, with a spear – and therefore, logically, people stab themselves to celebrate it.
As the years have passed, the piercings have become more and more gruesome – often including putting large spears and hooks through their chest or face.
Here in ninth is Chinese hat hair. This strange tradition sees women wear headdresses made from the hair of their dead ancestors.
Instead of throwing away their hair when its cut, women who are part of China’s minority community, the Long-horn Miao, instead save it and add it to their collection for use when they die.
Once they have passed, the hair is made in to spectacular headdresses and worn on special occasions by young women in the family. The evidence of these hats has been found as far back as 6,000 years.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which is much more interesting than any PETA rally, is a colourful event held over nine days in October. The event celebrates the belief that abstinence from meat during the ninth month of the Chinese calendar will help them to obtain health.
The origin of the festival is said to have come from when a Chinese opera group fell ill with Malaria when performing on the Phuket Island in Thailand. They chose to stick to a strictly vegetarian diet and pray to the emperor gods to ensure that their mind and body were purified. To the surprise of everybody, the group made a full recovery and survived what was, during the 1800s when this took place, an incredibly fatal illness.
So far, fairly normal. Well, if it ended there it wouldn’t be on the list.
As well as the vegetarianism, the Phuket people like to commit various acts of self-mutilation in order to invoke the gods to protect them from such harm. This includes stabbing various objects through their body and face, and walking across burning coals. As in the nature of this celebration, there have been many injuries caused by this – and even a few deaths.
The endocannibalist Yanomami tribe. Endocannibalism is the consumptions of a person after they have died – as appose to just regular old cannibalism.
The Yanomami tribe lives in the Amazon rainforest, near the border of Venezuela and Brazil, and the practice involves wrapping the corpse in leaves and allowing insects to pick at it. Around a month later, the bones are collected, smashed in to dust, and mixed in to a banana soup which is eaten by the rest of the tribe.
After a year, they will then mix the ashes in to another banana soup and eat it. According to tradition, the ritual helps ensure that the souls of the dead find their way to the afterlife.
The Yanomami tribe are semi-uncontacted, and this tradition has been going on for thousands of years, since they first migrated to the Amazon.
Coming in at sixth place Ashura. Ashura is an event recognised by many Muslims around the world for various reasons. For some Shiite Muslims, the day is observed by commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein – a grandson of the prophet Muhammed. Hussein allegedly died by being repeatedly struck on the head with daggers – an event which took place around the year 680 AD.
Today, some men choose to join in a procession and hit themselves on the head with daggers to pay tribute to the fallen prophet. It is also to mourn the fact that they were not alive to save Hussein.
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