5 Weird Cultural Practices Around The World1. Hindu Thaipusam Festival Piercings:
During the celebration of the religious holiday Thaipusam, Hindus declare their devotion to Lord Murugan by piercing various parts of their bodies. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar. In Tamil Nadu, they celebrate their devotion to the birth of Lord Murugan and his killing of Soorapadman, a vengeful spirit, with a spear. They do this with painful piercings around the body, including the tongue. Over time, the rituals have become more dramatic, colorful, and bloody, with large spears and hooks through the chest and face-some devotees even pull large wagons with ropes attached to their bloody backs.
2. La Tomatina:
The biggest tomato fight in the world. La Tomatina, the annual Tomato Throwing Festival, held in the Valencian town of Buñol, Spain. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. The participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. There are many theories about Tomatina. In 1945, during a parade of gigantes y cabezudos, young adults who wanted to be in the event staged a brawl in town’s main square, the Plaza del Pueblo. There was a vegetable stand nearby, so they picked up tomatoes and used them as weapons. The police had to intervene to break up the fight and forced those responsible to pay the damages incurred. This is the most popular of many theories about how the Tomatina started.
3. Bullet Ant Gloves:
The most painful Initiation Ritual. For the Satere-Mawe tribe of the Amazon, you can’t become a man if you don’t take part in this ritual. When a young boy becomes sexually mature he goes out into the jungle with the Medicine man and other boys his age to find and gather bullet ants. The insect with the most painful sting in the world. The sting from these ants has been compared to a bullet hitting the flesh. The boys will gather the ants and the ants are then drugged by some herbs given to them by the Medicine Man. Later, while the ants are sleeping in their drug induced state, they are placed into a woven mesh glove with the stinger on the inside. When the ants wake up they find themselves trapped and become very angry and aggressive. The boys must put on the gloves and keep them on for about ten minutes while they do a dance to take their mind off the pain. However the young men of the Satere-Mawe tribe must endure this pain 20 times before they can prove they are men.
4. Bathroom Ban of Tidong:
Weddings in the Indonesian Tidong community have traditions that are truly unique. Perhaps the most adorable of their customs is the one where the groom isn’t allowed to see the bride’s face until he sings her several love songs. The curtain separating the couple is raised only after the musical requirement is met, and then they can see each other on a dais. But the weirdest of them all is this – the bride and the groom aren’t allowed to use the bathroom for three days and nights after the wedding. Tidong people believe that not practicing the three-day and night ritual would bring terrible luck to the couple – a broken marriage, infidelity, or death of their children at a young age. So the couple is watched over by several people, and allowed only minimal amounts of food and drink. After the three days are up, they are bathed and then permitted to return to normal life.
5. Baby Throwing, India:
The bizarre ritual of throwing newborn babies off a temple 50ft high and catching them in a cloth has been celebrated in India since last 500 years. It is practiced by couples who are blessed with a child after taking a vow at the Sri Santeswar temple near India, in the state of Karnataka. The ritual is observed by both Muslims and Hindus every year and takes place amid tight security. The ritual takes place in the first week of December, and is believed to bring health, prosperity and luck to new arrivals. Around 200 babies are dropped by their parents every year while crowds sing and dance. Most of the infants are under two years old.