Unearthed: 11 Unbelievably Weird Traditions from Around the World

Weird traditions from around the world are captivating facets of human culture, serving as a window into the rich tapestry of global customs and beliefs. Within this article, we embark on a journey to uncover 11 extraordinary and unconventional Weird Traditions Around The World, each providing a distinctive peek into the vast diversity of human practices.

Unearthed: 11 Unbelievably Weird Traditions from Around the World - iTervis
Photo by Lindblom is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  1. Dancing With the Dead – Malagasy of Madagascar: The Weird Traditions Around The World don’t get much stranger than this. The Malagasy people of Madagascar have a remarkable custom: they periodically retrieve the bodies of their ancestors from their graves and clothe them in fresh attire for a joyful dance with live music. This extraordinary celebration serves as a family reunion and is observed once every seven years.
  2. Feeding the Dead – Rome: Deep within the Vatican in Rome, a curious ritual is practiced. In this intriguing part of the Weird Traditions Around The World, graves contain pipes that extend outside, allowing the living to offer wine, honey, and other foods to the deceased. It’s a belief that the dead can still partake in earthly pleasures.
  3. Bizarre Ritual of Baby Throwing – India: India offers its own unique entry in the catalog of Weird Traditions Around The World. In Solapur, Maharashtra, during the first week of December, parents, predominantly from the Muslim community but also some Hindus, engage in the extraordinary ritual of throwing their babies, often under two years old, from a 50-foot height. Villagers below catch the infants using a cloth sheet, all in the name of ensuring a healthy and blessed future. This bizarre celebration sees around two hundred babies tossed annually, accompanied by singing and dancing.
  4. Birthday Party Following Socks Garland – Germany: In Germany, reaching the age of 25 while remaining unmarried brings forth a quirky tradition among friends. They decorate the birthday boy’s house and property with a Weird Traditions Around The World-inspired sock garland. Each sock on the garland encourages the recipient to enjoy an alcoholic drink, resulting in a lively and spirited celebration.
  5. Cutting Fingers in the Dani Tribe Tradition – New Guinea: The Dani tribe of Papua, New Guinea, employs a striking ritual during funeral ceremonies. In this segment of the Weird Traditions Around The World, close relatives, such as spouses, amputate part of their own fingers when a tribe member passes away. These severed digits are then buried alongside the deceased in their grave. Shockingly, women are more frequently subjected to this gruesome tradition.
  6. Making the Funniest Face – England: England has a unique and long-standing tradition known as “Gurning,” dating back to 1267. In this facet of the Weird Traditions Around The World, contestants at the World Gurning Championship contort their faces into the most grotesque expressions imaginable. It’s all in good fun and is celebrated annually at the Egremont Crab Fair.
  7. Living With the Dead – Indonesia: Traveling to the far reaches of Indonesia, particularly to the island of Sulawesi, you’ll encounter Weird Traditions Around The World within the Toraja ethnic group of South Sulawesi. They wrap deceased family members in special garb and keep them within the family home. This practice is believed to preserve the soul of the loved one until the final burial, allowing the family to coexist with the deceased for an extended period.
  8. Antzar Eguna – Basque Country, Spain: The Basque Country in Spain celebrates “Antzar Eguna,” or Goose Day, in the town of Lekeitio. During this unusual event, a goose is suspended by a rope over the town harbor. Participants on boats attempt to grab the goose and pull it off the rope, while onlookers cheer them on. The person who succeeds is declared the “winner” and receives a prize, making it a quirky and thrilling maritime tradition.
  9. Running of the Bulls – Spain: In Pamplona, Spain, the annual “Running of the Bulls” is a heart-pounding tradition during the San Fermín festival. Participants dash through the city’s narrow streets pursued by charging bulls. It’s a thrilling and risky ritual that has both locals and tourists testing their courage and agility.
  10. Throwing Tomatoes at La Tomatina – Spain: Staying in Spain, the town of Buñol hosts “La Tomatina,” an annual tomato-throwing festival. Thousands of people gather to engage in a massive tomato fight, where ripe tomatoes are hurled at one another until the streets run red with tomato juice. It’s a fun and messy celebration held on the last Wednesday of August.
  11. Bride Kidnapping – Romania: Romania introduces a rather unconventional wedding tradition into the mix of Weird Traditions Around The World. During wedding celebrations, friends of the bride, often playfully referred to as “pseudo-terrorists,” stage a fake kidnapping. To reclaim his bride, the groom must offer bottles of whisky and publicly profess his love. It’s a quirky twist on a traditional wedding, showcasing the diversity of global customs.

These 11 glimpses into Weird Traditions Around The World emphasize the richness and complexity of human cultures. While they may appear bizarre to outsiders, these customs are integral parts of the societies that practice them, shedding light on the intriguing ways people honor their traditions and beliefs.

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