There are some strange rituals and traditions in countries and cultures around the world which sound unbelievable, but are actually true. These customs and ceremonies relate to special events in human life, such as births, marriages and deaths and are absolutely mind boggling.
Here are 10 bizarre traditions around the world:
1.Mourning of Muharram
Mourning of Muharram is one of the strangest customs in the world, which is prevalent in Shia Islam religion and is observed in the month of Muharram. It involves infliction of self punishment by whipping the body with chains, which have sharp knives and razors attached to them. This is a tradition of followers of Shia Islamic religion, residing in Iran, India, Pakistan, Iraq and Bahrain.
Another bizarre tradition is the sky burial ritual followed in Tibet, in which a human dead body is mutilated and placed on a mountain top, for the birds of prey like vultures to eat. The flesh is separated from bones, which are then crushed and mixed with tsampa, a mixture of barley flour, yak butter and tea), before being fed to animals and birds. The custom was banned by the Chinese government in the 60s, but again legalized in the 80s.
3.Finger Cutting, Dani Tribe
Next on this list is the finger cutting ritual of the Dani tribe of West Papua New Guinea, which is carried out as an expression of grief at a funeral. It involves the painful practice of amputation of finger and its burial along with the dead body of the spouse or important family member, symbolizing their eternal love for each other. Some people get even all their fingers cut off to have them buried with their loved ones.
4.Baby Throwing, India
Another bizarre tradition can be seen in the Sri Santeswar Temple of Karnataka, India, where new born babies are thrown off from a 50 feet high temple and caught safely in a cloth. The tradition has been followed for the past 500 years by Hindu and even, Muslim couples who have had a child with the blessings of this temple.
One of the cruelest traditions in Hinduism was the Sati Pratha, which involved the immolation of a widow along with the dead body of her husband, a practice followed voluntarily by many Hindu women in the pre independence period of India. However, this condemnable custom was banned in the country and is considered a criminal offence in the modern era.
Another bizarre tradition which has its roots in the Hindu religion is the piercing f different body parts in a Hindu festival called Thaipusam, which is a part of the Tamil culture of India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Even the tongue of a person is pierced in this custom, while others have hooks passed through their bare chests and backs and use them to pull heavy wagons with ropes.
Featuring next on the list of 10 bizarre traditions is the unbelievable self mummification custom followed by Buddhist monks, during which they starved and poisoned themselves to death. The custom was prevalent in Japan and nearly 16-24 cases have been discovered till date. After starving himself to loss of all body fluids, the monk would lock himself in a stone tomb and await his end there.
8.Funeral Ritual of Yanomami Tribe
The Yanomami tribe of Brazil and Venezuela has a very strange funeral ritual, in which the relatives of the dead person drink a soup made of his ashes and bones. The logic behind this tradition is that it gives peace to the departed soul and he continues to live as a part of his loved ones.
9.Bathrom Ban of the Tidong Tribe
An equally unusual ritual is seen in the Tidong community of Indonesia, where a bride and a groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for a period of 3 days and 3 nights after they get married. It is believed that if they do so, it would bring bad fate for their marriage and would be children. They are give minimal drink and food during this tough time.
La Tomatina refers to the fun filled Spanish festival celebrated every year in Bunol, where people get out on streets and revel by throwing tomatoes over each other. This famous tomato fight takes place on the last Wednesday of August every year.
All these traditions seem to be quite unusual and hard to believe, but the truth is that they actually happen in various parts of the world.