The world is filled with various customs and traditions that might leave you openmouthed and stunned. This is a list of some certainly shocking and bizarre rituals followed by people around the world that might leave you surprised.
Rituals followed by people around the world
- Bullet Ant mitts
As a man, you will be grateful for being born in the Satere Mewa tribe of the Amazon. After reading this, many people might skip the whole idea of ever going to Amazon for any adventurous trip you might have planned before in your head. The fear is quite real! The boys of this Amazonian tribe might want to avoid the whole process of coming of their age because of the extremely tortuous and horrifying test that they have to undergo to prove their manhood.
This out of bizarre world test might leave you astonished; the boys about to hit their manhood are supposed to stick their hands inside a glove that contains ferocious, terrifying, ready to sting Bullet Ants! This might not sound very crazy until you read ahead and know how terrifying these ants are.
It is considered and proven the fact that these ants can be responsible for your death. They are the largest ants found on this planet, and their sting can cause pain 30 times stronger than a wasp’s sting. These deadly ants have a sting that can be as painful as a bullet piercing across your body.
Hence, the name Bullet ants might make sense now. These ants are trapped into mitts and drugged by a medicine man. These young men have to dance for the next ten minutes wearing these mitts because they believe that dancing might help them distract their minds from the pain. This is not the end; the Satere Mewa tribe’s men go through this same ritual for nearly twenty times in their entire lifetime.
Crazy? Maybe, the tribe strongly believes in the concept that determining man’s strength is the only way of determining his manhood. To determine the strength, they believe a check of pain endurance is the best possible way.
Hold yourself because reading this might give you goosebumps! Thaipusam, or you may call it a festival of the piercing. Lord Murugan, when he would have defeated the evil spirit and saved humanity, probably he would have never thought the amount of pain his devotees would be ready to experience to show their gratitude and respect towards the Lord.
In Southern India and South East Asia, Hindus celebrate this very strange festival called Thaipusam to celebrate Lord Murugan’s victory over evil. His devotees end up piercing themselves with sharp objects anywhere in the body; there is no limitation to the body part to be pierced.
It solely depends on the devotees and their courage to choose how many and at what places they will pierce their body. Some devotees have also gone up to the extent of pulling vehicles through these piercings. They pierce their back with a hook and end up pulling vehicles through it. That is some gut-wrenching devotion towards God!
What usually crosses our head when we talk of the death of a loved one or visiting their grave? Usually, it’s sorrow, remorse, guilt, silence, unhappiness, and so many other emotions that describes sadness for losing someone close to us. But definitely, not even remotely will dancing around their graves pass our heads, Right? But for the Malagasy tribe of Hauts Plateaux of Madagascar, it’s not very strange to think as such, because it’s a usual tradition that they practice.
During July and September, this tribe celebrates Famahidana, a festival in which these people bring their ancestors’ bodies and wrap their bones into fresh clothes and then play live music and dance around their tombs. Some of them also carry the remains of the dead relative and dance along with them. Some relatives also end up seeking blessings from their dead ancestors.
Some say that this festival is celebrated once in seven years and the tradition is growing extinct slowly. Travelers suggest that this festival is not even near to being spooky and instead look like a party.
- Toddler Tossing
Imagine standing in the premises of a temple and see babies falling from its roof. Usually, you might panic unless you are standing in the Sri Santeswar Temple of Karnataka. Why? Because it is a 500-year-old tradition being followed in this temple, according to which couples who give birth to babies after taking a vow in this temple bring their babies to this temple to begin a part of this ritual in which their babies are thrown off a 50ft roof of the temple.
Scary? But before you race toward deriving conclusions, these babies are caught in a piece of cloth by the family members. It is believed that it’s showering good luck charms on babies. Don’tDon’t know about the good luck, but this ritual was indeed a traumatic experience for the child, and hence child rights activists took it over and got it banned in 2011. Still, in 2012 this ritual was carried in the temple. Indeed some brave parents!
- Tooth Filing
If you are scared of visiting a dentist, then reading this might make you reconsider your plans for Bali! While most of us file our nails, people in Bali file their teeth! Surprised? While preparing for marriage, Balinese men and women get their teeth filed to make them smooth because smoothened teeth signify freedom from all sorts of sinful emotions of greed, jealousy, anger, or lust. This is one of the most celebrated and famous Hindu rituals in Bali and may make you wish to never having teeth at all!
- Consuming The Dead
Before you hit conclusions from the title and gross yourself out, you may want to read it completely and then gross-out! The Yanomami Tribe residing in the amazon rainforest that borders Brazil and Venezuela believes that to let the deceased member’s spirit rest in peace, no physical trace of their body must be left behind.
So the bones and the ashes left behind the cremation procedure are mixed with the plantation soup and are consumed by their family so that the soul of the person who lost his life remains inside the family members. So if you are a soup lover, this might ruin your soup experience from now!
You might end up in jail if you practice this tradition anywhere except the Himalayan Kingdom parts in Bhutan. Bumena, also known as night hunting, is a strange ritual in which men searching for a set for love and marriage go out in a night hunt for brides. They spend a night inside the rooms of eligible spinsters secretively or rather end up breaking into their rooms.
If the man gets caught in this process, he has to marry the particular girl irrespective of his choice or work in her father’s field as a punishment for the same. As such, rituals question the privacy and safety of women in this region, and hence there is no doubt for it to be a debatable ritual to follow.
- Bride kidnapping
This is another tradition that questions women’s safety! The tradition offers the power to men to kidnap the woman he wants to marry, and if he ends up successfully abducting her and keeping her as a captive for at least two to three days, the woman is declared as his official wife!
While nothing sounds lawful in this tradition, laws are pretty lax about this in countries like Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and Chechnya. Despite this custom being illegal, it is easily carried in these countries, making woman safety a questionable aspect. We considered arranged marriages to be a mundane thing to deal with; Bride kidnapping tops the list.
- Masai Spitting
All this while your parents taught you that spitting on someone is not good and reflects horrible manners. This piece is for you; welcome to Africa, where people spit to greet. Weird? In Kenya and Tanzania, people from Masai Tribe spit on their friends as a way of greeting. Let alone people from the same age group; people spit on elders on their hands to show respect before they move ahead with a handshake.
They spit on infants as a way of blessing because somehow they believe bad women will fall on children if they praise them. Bad women might be a questionable affair, but bad communicable disease might fall on children through this form of blessing! Anyways, so if in Africa, Spit to greet, that is the new cool.
- Giraffe Woman
Beauty has been a way of fooling women for since long. Women have made themselves feel unworthy for ages under the concept of perfect body features. Giraffe woman is yet another beauty concept that has made the Karen Tribe of Thailand pretty obnoxious about having long necks as a beauty symbol.
They believe slender neck adds to their attractiveness and hence wear rings around their neck from the age of 5.As they grow older, the number of rings keeps increasing and results in stretching the neck to make it longer.
- Lip plating
In Africa and Amazon, which is already famous for its numerous bizarre traditions, lip plating is another strange custom. In this tradition, a large circular disc of wood or clay is inserted into the lower lips through a pierced hole. This results in lip stretching overtime.
Some connect the disc’s size to the social status; the larger the disc, the bigger the status, while some connect it to the dowry the bride will get on her wedding day. Whatsoever is the notion behind the concept the pain remains constant.