No one gets suspicious when it comes to celebrations but some oddities have been going on around the world under our pure ignorance. As you know, various types of traditional practices are carried out day in day out worldwide. People are found to be pleasing either their gods or sometimes even themselves while performing them as a mere act of legacy. They all have different reasons to celebrate deaths and births of their ancestors and newborns respectively. So, here are some of the world’s weirdest traditions that are still carried out irrespective of the outlandish beliefs that are conglomerated within.
Toss the baby – India
This conventional tradition persisting in Karnataka involves throwing the baby from top of a 30 ft. temple balcony. The child is tossed from the balcony and collected by the locals in a blanket. Oops, I hope that didn’t hurt! Well, when the child is caught safely, the celebration takes place joyously. The reason behind this speaks of the tossed child’s good luck, health and prosperity. The newlyweds and the other couples are also found to participate in this tradition in the hope of getting blessed with a child soon.
Hair of the dead – China
This old tradition in China has been one of the weirdest traditions practiced by the Miao community. Although there are around only 5000 people left in this community, still this practice is going on strong as ever. The uncanny tradition is all about saving the hair of the dead ancestors and weaving a wig out of it. Even the females who comb their hair don’t throw away the shredded hair strands, they save it instead to weave a wig with much more collected hair over generations. The wigs are worn on all special occasions such as weddings, big feasts etc. Not only this, but the men of Maio also used to follow this practice but they gave it up since it was unmanageable when it came to men folks!
Spit on – Africa
You might feel apprehensive about it but Masaai, an African tribe, has its own kind of spitting culture. The people of this tribe greet each other while spitting on each other’s faces. No, trust me, unlike us, they don’t get offended by this eccentricity.
The Masaai tribe has been practicing this tradition for quite a long time to ensure a healthy relationship with each other. In fact, when a baby is born in Africa, all the relatives and friends celebrate the occasion by washing the baby completely with their saliva. This might seem unrefined to many of us but it is their way of showing respect.
Deforming the skull – Mayan
The Mexico based Maya tribe has some peculiar tradition being followed by their tribe members. The Mayans place the head of hardly a month old infant between two planks continuously. This bizarre custom goes on for six months and the children endure it continuously. It is believed that the most obvious reasons to claim skull deformation as a widely accepted practice was because people with elongated skulls tended to be more intelligent, acquiring higher status and believed to be close to the spiritual world. It was practiced on newborn infants commonly as their skulls were more prone to molding much easier.
Dancing with the dead – Madagascar
The Malagasy people of Madagascar perform this unusual tradition called Famadihana wherein they bring the dead bodies from their homes from the crypts and wrap them in a fresh cloth. They dance around while carrying them on their shoulders in a group with live music, oblations and great joy. This ritual is celebrated as a festival once every seven years to ensure the dead ancestors remain connected to their kinship.
Bride Abduction – Kyrgyzstan
It is an unusual tradition that is still continued in areas like Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Chechnya. The ritual is about a man kidnapping the woman he wishes to marry, with the help of his friends. This doesn’t only mean abduction which is a non-consensual norm but also subsumes eloping with the one you love and asking for your parent’s consent later which comes under the category of consensual.
Burial Tradition – Yanomami
This peculiar tradition of eating the ashes of the dead is practiced by Yanomami tribe residing in the Amazon rainforest. Spooky enough? Well, it surely is! The Yanomami people believe that death does not occur naturally but instead it’s an evil spirit sent by the enemy tribe’s shaman that comes for revenge to strike a person in their community. So, the loved ones in the community of the deceased have to eat their ashes mixed in the soup after 30-45 days of the cremation ceremony.