The most unusual rituals and customs of the peoples of the world

A selection of the most unusual rituals and customs of the peoples of the world.


Perhaps the strangest birth custom we can observe among Muslims in the Indian state of Maharashtra. There is a tradition there to throw a newborn from the 15-meter wall of the temple. Those who have strictly observed this ritual for half a millennium believe that this can strengthen the health of the child, ensure him a successful life in the future, and also make him smart and courageous.


In Scotland, there is a custom of “blackening the bride”: before the wedding, the newlywed will be smeared with such unpleasant substances as rotten eggs, sauces, molasses, flour. The tradition changes from region to region, but mostly the bride is coated with something sticky and smelly, carried around the city and then tied to a tree or a lamppost.


If you want to see something "spicy", go to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. There you can taste different unusual delicacies, and then “for dessert” you will find something far from sweet. Every year in September or October, the inhabitants of the island do not eat meat for nine days. In addition, people observe incredible masochistic rituals: representatives of both sexes pierce their cheeks with spears, knives and other sharp objects. There is a belief that the gods will protect those who do this from pain and suffering, which is very difficult to believe, given the scars left on the faces of the unfortunate after the festival.


Self-immolation, of course, is the lot of religious fanatics and real madmen. Nevertheless, since ancient times, fire has been a symbol of purification. No religion requires its followers to burn themselves, but sometimes customs encourage walking with bare feet on hot coals. Monks, priests, and lay people in Shinto and Buddhist temples in Japan do this in order to achieve absolute purity, overcome their fears and get a boost of energy. Similar "walks on coals" are practiced in North Africa, Haiti, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and even in nearby Bulgaria


The Shinto Honen Matsuri Festival in Japan is known as the largest fertility festival. On March 15, volunteers vie for the opportunity to carry a long 25-kilogram wooden phallus through the city. According to legend, this penis of two and a half meters is able to give fertility to the land and increase the birth rate among local residents.

Ah, this wedding ...!

Any self-respecting Andalusian before his wedding is obliged to jump from a cliff headfirst. According to the ancient customs of Andalusia, it is believed that only a man with a strong skull can marry. The paradox itself is that the more relatives a wife has, the higher the rock should be.

The wedding ceremony of the Navaja Indians amazes outside observers with its cruelty: before marriage, the bride's tongue is cut off, and the groom's ... Perhaps that is why wives are famous for their silence, and husbands - for extraordinary constancy.

The natives of the Solomon Islands solve the issue of infidelity of married couples in this way: under the leadership of a shaman, they sit in a circle and eat the half accused of treason. If the meat is bitter, then she is considered guilty, if not, the other half is eaten. In the event that both halves are innocent, legends are formed about their loyalty.

When a young Chinese turns exactly one year old, he is laid on a yellow silk mat with black dragons embroidered by the old masters and hit on the head with a hammer. If at the same time the sound "Zen" is heard, then the child is sent to a Zen-Buddhist monastery, if the sound "Bam" is heard, he is considered an ordinary Chinese.

Only once in the entire history of China during such a ceremony a strange sound "kon-fu" was heard, it was emitted by the head of a child who later became Confucius.

Since the feudal period in Japan, there has been a special caste of people who are popularly called samurai. Near each higher educational institution where human anatomy is studied, special rooms (bonsai) have been built, in which samurai live, earning their living as hara-kirs.

A bride for everyone. One of the wildest wedding traditions exists in the Polynesian islands. The first wedding night, the newlyweds should not spend alone, but with friends. And not at all celebrating the wedding ... The newly-made wife should lie on the floor, resting her head on her husband's lap, and male guests, starting with the eldest, have sexual intercourse with her. The groom is allowed to the body of the bride as a last resort. All the while, female guests sing and dance around. This tradition is explained by the fact that for many peoples the blood released during defloration is considered dirty and saturated with demons. Therefore, men, starting with the oldest and most respected, in this way cleanse the bride of demons.

First a fight, and then love. The Bahutu tribe laws prohibit newlyweds from having sex immediately after the wedding. On their wedding night, the newlyweds go to the husband's house, where the young wife begins to beat her husband with everything that comes to hand. In the morning she goes home, and in the evening she returns and everything repeats. Such beatings continue for a week, after which the long-awaited act of love happens. This tradition is explained by the fact that before making love, newlyweds must get used to each other, and a fight helps a lot in this.

Family life for 3 days. Young girls of one of the peoples of India get married for only three days. After these days, the young spouse must leave his wife's house forever and never again come across her eyes. After that, the girl begins a happy life: she has every right to have as many lovers as she wants and not deny herself anything.

Bride: The thicker the better. In central Nigeria, tribal elders decide when it is time for a girl to get married. And that's not the worst. After the decision is made, the girl is locked up in a special hut for several months, or even a whole year, and fed. She doesn't have to do anything, just eat as much fatty and high-calorie foods as possible all day in order to get fat faster. It is believed that the thicker the bride, the more beautiful she is.

Among the ancient Arabs, the law ordered the son, as a special privilege, to become a husband to his widowed mother.

The traditional Bedouin wedding dish is a fried camel, inside of which is a fried lamb stuffed with boiled chicken stuffed with fish and the fish stuffed with eggs.

To be considered a bride and groom in Bulgaria, a guy just needs to throw an apple at his beloved girl. And after the wedding night, the groom, with a shot from a gun, informed all those present at the wedding about the successful outcome.

Australian Aborigines shared wives within the same genus. The only condition was that the owner liked this man. In this case, to refuse sexual services meant an insult and disrespect for the family.


In this category, tribal traditions in Papua New Guinea, Australian Aborigines and New York street gangs vied for the title of the strangest custom. However, the palm went to the Satere Mave people from the Amazon with their gloves.

What harm can gloves do? Large if filled with giant stinging ants. Any movement of the hand will inevitably lead to a bite. Boys who want to become men must wear such gloves for 30 minutes 25 times in a row, that is, more than half a day continuously receiving new portions of ant venom. After such pain, is it possible not to be considered a full-fledged member of the tribe?

New Year traditions

In Bulgaria, with the last strike of the clock, the lights go out for a few minutes in all houses. It's New Year's kissing time.

In Scotland, just before 12 o'clock, the whole family sit in front of a fireplace or stove and look at the fire, which symbolizes the burning of all the hardships and sorrows of the outgoing year, make wishes. When the clock starts striking 12, the head of the family opens the front door, seeing off the old year and welcoming the new one. Then everyone sits down at the table and the festive fun begins.

In Ireland, on New Year's Eve, the doors of all houses are thrown open. Anyone who wants can enter any door and become a welcome guest who will be seated at the table, treated to a festive dinner and share the holiday with him. And it is customary to celebrate the next day with friends and acquaintances.

In the villages in the south of France, the hostess, who in the New Year is the very first to take water from the spring, leaves a pie or bun from the festive table next to it. The one who comes after her will take the pie and leave hers - this is how the housewives treat each other until evening.

In Germany, absolutely all people, despite their age and social status, as soon as the clock starts striking midnight, climb on chairs, tables, armchairs and with the last blow together, with joyful greetings, "jump" into the New Year.

Temperamental Italians for the New Year throw old and unnecessary things out of the windows. It is believed that the more things you throw away, the more successful and successful the coming year will be. In Argentina, they limit themselves to lighter items: old bills and documents are thrown out of offices.

Scots on New Year's Eve set fire to barrels of tar and roll them through the streets, thus burning the old year and inviting the new one.

About everything

In Denmark, a flag hung in a window indicates that someone is celebrating a birthday in this house.

In Thailand, on the Song Kran holiday, it is customary to pour water over passers-by, this is considered a wish of luck. Also in Thailand, where most of the population is Buddhist, the human head is considered a sacred repository of the soul and touching it is considered a serious offense.

Men from some of the Eskimo tribes line up to greet the stranger. Then the first of them comes forward and gives the stranger a good slap on the top of his head, and expects a similar response from the stranger. The spanks and blows continue until either side falls to the ground. The natives of South America greet each other by spitting. And for some peoples of Africa, a protruding tongue serves as a sign of greeting.

In Korea, to show that the feast turned out to be good, and that everything is very tasty, you need to chomp as loudly as possible.

For many centuries, the peoples of North Kamchatka meant that if a guest enters into sexual contact with the owner's wife, then by doing so it gives him a great honor. The hostess of the house made every effort to make the guest want to share the bed with her. And it was considered special luck for this house if a woman became pregnant from this connection. The birth of a child was celebrated by the entire village.

A unique funeral custom has existed for two thousand years deep in the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The deceased are buried in logs hollowed out by themselves, and then carried to caves high in the mountains. In some caves, there are up to several hundred original coffins.

Malagasy people pull out their dead ancestors every 2-3 years and change their clothes.