Every culture has its own traditions, and a majority of them help promote positivity and personal growth within the community. Observances such as Germany’s Oktoberfest, Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, and Greece’s Name Day are among some of the more popular ones that come to mind.
Then there are a bunch of obscure traditions out there that will leave you scratching your head (and possibly running for the toilet). We’re going to look at the top seven.
The first outrageous tradition on this list involves an extreme form of facial piercing in celebration of a god.
7. Hindu Festival Piercing
Held in the early part of the year, Thaipusam is a Hindu festival that celebrates the life of Lord Murugan, who defeated the demon Soorapadman with a spear. Every year, thousands of people walk the streets with spears pierced through their cheeks. Some show their devotion to the God of war by getting their head shaved with a blade or walking to the temple with hooks in their back. The festival is celebrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia.
6. Consuming Ashes
In Brazil, the Yanomami tribe have a unique way of keeping the memories of the dead alive. Instead of simply burying a member of their tribe, they mix their ashes with mashed bananas and serve it to villagers in order to strengthen their faction’s unity. They also use ashes as a substitute for salt.
5. Baby Throwing
For centuries in India, newborn babies have been tossed from 50 foot high temples by priests as a sign of good luck. Several protesters from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights were able to get this dangerous ceremony banned in 2011, but it returned stronger than ever the following year.
The next tradition uses over 300,000 pounds of a popular fruit.
4. La Tomatina
Nobody really knows how La Tomatina started, but since 1945, this yearly festival brings tomato madness to the streets of Buñol, Valencia, Spain. Recently, they were forced to sell tickets for this event due to a massive amount of interest from the public. La Tomatina has inspired numerous tomato fights around the world.
3. Balinese Tooth Filling
In the Indonesian island of Bali, tooth fillings are done in order to keep evil human characteristics such as greed and jealousy away so individuals can get into heaven. These tooth filling ceremonies don’t come for cheap; they usually run for $3,500, which doesn’t include the price to hire musicians. Females tend to incorporate tooth fillings in their wedding ceremonies.