From strange birthday traditions to seriously weird ways to prove your love…here are the weirdest traditions around the world!
Subscribe to Talltanic
7. Tooth Filing – Bali
One of the most important Hindu religious ceremonies in Bali is tooth filing. The ceremony signifies the passage from childhood to adulthood, and is ritually done by both men and women before marriage, although it is sometimes done as part of the wedding ceremony. During the tooth filing ritual, the eye-tooth is smoothed down, which allows the bride and groom to rid themselves of evil forces. It is believed that the teeth are a symbol of greed, lust, anger, jealousy and confusion, and the filing custom helps make a person spiritually and physically pure. The ceremony also symbolizes that the person has entered adulthood.
6. Baby Throwing – India
For the last 500 years, the bizarre tradition of throwing babies off a 30 foot temple balcony has been celebrated in Karnataka every year. This old custom is centuries old, and celebrated by Hindus and Muslims alike during the first week of December. Priests dangle the babies over the temple balcony’s ledge, then drop them to be caught safely in a cloth blanket below. Once the baby is safely caught, the crowd celebrates with loud cheers and passes the infant around. The ritual is believed to bring luck, prosperity and health to the babies, and is performed on over 200 infants under the age of 2 every year.
5. La Tomatina – Spain
The tomato throwing festival, La Tomatina, is held in Buñol, Spain every year, and is the largest tomato fight in the world. Held on the last Wednesday of August, the participants lob tomatoes at one another for no reason other than to have fun. This exciting tradition has a few theories for how it started, the most popular being that in 1945, when a group of teenagers who wanted to join the parade of gigantes y cabezudos staged a protest in the Plaza del Pueblo. They used tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stand as weapons. The police broke up the fight and made those involved pay the damages.
4. A Face Full of Cake – Mexico
Birthdays are celebrated in different ways every day all over the world, but the one constant is the birthday cake. But in Mexico, you don’t simply blow out the candles and have a slice with your family. When the cake is brought out, the birthday girl or boy bends down to take a bite, and someone will push their face into the cake. “La Mordida.” And since it is a tradition, you know it’s coming, but still do it anyway. It must be some delicious cake.
3. Bathroom Ban – Indonesia
Weddings in Indonesia’s Tidong community have some truly unique traditions. One of the sweetest of these is that the groom can’t see the bride’s face until he has sang several love songs. Once the requirement is met, the curtain separating them is lifted and they can see each other on a stage. But the oddest tradition is that the bride and groom can’t use the bathroom for 3 days and nights once wed. Tidong people believe that terrible luck would follow those who don’t practice the tradition, and will have infidelity, a broken marriage, or their children will die young. After the wedding, the couple is watched by many people and can only have minimal amounts of food and water. After 3 days, they are bathed and return to normal life. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I could hold it that long.
2. Octopus on the Ice – USA
One of the most well-known traditions celebrated in the world of ice hockey began on 15 April 1952, when brothers, Jerry and Pete Cusimano threw an octopus across the ice at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit. The animal’s 8 legs were a symbol of the 8 wins that the Detroit Red Wings needed to win the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings went on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, allowing them to win the cup… and so started the tradition. Every year since, the cephalopod has been lobbed onto the ice for good luck for the Wings. Sounds like they have been given… a leg up.
1. Tooth Throwing – Greece
The citizens of Greece taking the tradition of losing one’s baby teeth to new heights by having their children throw them into the roof once they fall out. Practicing this tradition is said to help the child’s grow in healthy and small. Sadly, the custom seems to not be working, as Reuters in 2015 said that Greek children have some of Europe’s worst dental health. This is mainly due to the country’s economic crisis, and more than 8% of the Greek population skipped going to the dentist due to its cost. So kids now have bad teeth and they get no money? Sounds like the Tooth Fairy isn’t holding up his side of the bargain!