Strange Traditions From Around The World
When looking at the differences in cultures, we tend to think that our own culture is the least strange compared to others.
There is such a thing as what is called ‘ethnocentrism’ which is the tendency to judge other’s rituals and practices based on our own.
However, some cultures are just so strange we can’t stop being weirded out no matter how hard we try.
If you think aliens, ghosts, and haunted houses are creepy, these 5 strange traditions from around the world will keep you up at night.
BULLET ANT GLOVES OF THE SATERE-MAWE TRIBE
The Amazon rainforest is known not only for being the largest rainforest in the world, but also the home of hundreds of tribes each with their territories, and practices.
While the usual celebration of young people transitioning to adulthood might include a bar mitzvah or a quinceañera, the people of Sateré-Mawé have a different kind of celebration in mind. And they might have the most peculiar one.
Young boys of the Sateré-Mawé tribe undergo some strange practice to prove themselves to be ready for adulthood. They are required to wear woven filled with ants 20 times as they dance.
These are not just the normal ants that annoyingly crawl in our sweet treats. These are bullet ant whose bites are more painful than bee stings. This would require some psychological and physical strengths.
The Sateré-Mawé tribe believe that wearing gloves filled with bullet ants will bite the boy out of them.
YANOMAMI FUNERARY RITUAL
Stories of cannibalism are so rife they aren’t so creepy anymore.
But for the Yanomami tribe, they took endocannibalism to the next level where they consume the ashes of the dead.
Endocannibalism is the practice of cannibalism where one consumes from their community. This includes people from the same tribe.
For around 30 to 40 days, they allow nature to take its course leaving animals and insects to consume the flesh. They then collect the bones and burn it to ashes.
The ashes are usually mixed with fermented bananas to make a soup.
They can either preserve the bones to be consumed in the years to come or in just one sitting.
This practice is done by the Yanomami as they believe they can keep the deceased spirit alive in them.
ENTROIDA FESTIVAL IN LAZA, SPAIN
This festival is held three Fridays before the day of Lent as well as on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
If it sounds like a lot of celebration, for the people in Laza, this just means a whole lot of pain.
During the three Fridays before the day of Lent, the locals in Laza will run intoxicated through the streets while carrying a torch.
Locals who chose not to do this activity will throw heaps of dirt from their window as a symbol of throwing away impurities from their houses.
On the official day of Entroida, the Peliqueiros who is also known as the masked men, whip innocent people. They intrude houses and eat food however they please.
On the last day of the Entroida festival, the locals gather in the town square and throw dirt at each other.
If this doesn’t just come off to you as chaotic, I don’t know what will.
BORYEONG MUD FESTIVAL IN SOUTH KOREA
Aside from KPOP, gorgeous mountains, and pristine beaches, Korea is known as the best manufacturer of different skin products.
Created as a way to market cosmetic products produced from mud, the Boryeong Mud Festival is celebrated during the summer by Koreans and tourists alike.
This could be the filthiest tradition in the world with half-naked people splashing in the mud with strangers.
Some children were reported to have skin rashes following the event.
Although the festival broke out with skin rashes, they continued this festival along with performing bands and partying.
FAMADIHANA FESTIVAL (TURNING OF THE BONES) OF MADAGASCAR
We probably all heard about Madagascar from the movie about the animals that escaped the New York Central Zoo.
The movie is all happy and cute. Not until you learn about the Famadihana festival.
The Famadihana festival involves a ritual that they do once every 7 years. You might be relieved that it is only done in 7 years because it’s so bizarre.
The Malagasy people believe that as long as the dead body is still present, they can still communicate. And so they open the family crypts every 7 years and wrap whatever is left in cloth.
They dance with the corpses and sacrifice animals for this feast.
These bizarre practices might be the norm for these people but we just can’t resist being weirded out. Which one from the five examples creeped you out the most?