Cultures and traditions differ around the world. These differences make our planet colorful and diverse. What is considered normal in one country may be considered weird in another. That's why we need to get to know better the cultures and traditions that seem extraordinary to us and learn to see them as wealth. In this article, we have compiled some funny, some scary, some sad, but all very interesting traditions.
The traditions that a society has developed as a unique behavior or attitude for centuries are the cultural richness of that country or region. Let's take a look at the interesting traditions that have emerged in many different areas of daily life, with the influence of beliefs and lifestyles.
16 Unique Cultures and Traditions Around the World
1. Wife Carrying Championship, Finland
This annual race in Finland tests the strength of both husbands and marriages. Although it is not as popular as it used to be, some people come from the surrounding cities and even countries to participate in the Wife Carrying Championship held in Sonkajärvi. The race requires overcoming a series of obstacles for the grand prize; the most important factor determining the prize is the wife's weight.
2. Eating Jesus, Catholics
Sounds pretty weird when you say something that most of you probably already know, as in the title, doesn't it? But that's really the point. Catholics consume a type of rusk made from unleavened bread during Holy Communion, and they see it as the body of Jesus. This process, called "transubstantiation," is a way of becoming one with Jesus. The most important feature of this religious tradition is that it creates a sacred bond between the community.
3. Offering Vodka, Russia
If we asked you to say something in Russian, the first thing that would probably come to your mind would be "Na zdorovye!" This may be because of a shot of vodka as a way for Russians to say "welcome." By following this old tradition, you can get drunk and mingle with people you just met. Drinking lots of vodka can be the basis of living in a more understanding and loving world.
4. Saluting a Magpie, England
Giving meaning to animals is a tradition that we can come across in many parts of the world. For example, owls are believed to portend disaster, and black cats to portend bad luck. In England, seeing a solo magpie also means bad luck. The English salute the magpie to get rid of this bad luck. By expressing their respect for him, they defend themselves against unfortunate events that may happen to them. If you go to England and see someone talking to a magpie on the road, don't think he's crazy. In fact, join him and ask how Mr. Magpie is doing.
5. Lucia, Sweden
The reasons for some traditions are not entirely clear. Since it has been done so for centuries, they are repeated without question. Lucia, one of the New Year traditions in the world, is exactly like that. The Feast of Saint Lucia is celebrated on December 13. Known as Sweden's darkest night, this day is usually celebrated with an early morning ritual in churches. A girl with a candle, men holding sticks with stars, and the audience sing Christmas carols together. You can go to any church in Sweden to join Lucia.
6. Cinnamon Powder Shower, Various Countries in Europe
In some cultures, there are surprises for those who are still single at 25. In countries like Germany and Denmark, friends and family "punish" those who are still unmarried. It's debatable whether it's a good way to celebrate the 25th birthday. Because during that day, you are bathing in cinnamon powder. There is also a 30-year-old version of this, in which pepper is used instead of cinnamon. Quite an effective way to induce marriage, don't you think?
7. Blackened Bride, Scotland
Since marriage is a highly social event, it has its fair share of interesting traditions. In the Scottish pre-wedding ritual, eggs, spoiled milk, and whatever disgusting is thrown at the bride. This slurry turns the bride's color black. Even though it seems like it's just for fun, this tradition has a meaning. They see all this "disgusting" as a metaphor for married life, and they think that the bride who puts up with it will more easily endure the difficulties of marriage.
8. Jumping Over Seven Waves, Brazil
While those in the northern hemisphere identify the new year with sparkling snow-covered nights, warm weather accompanies the celebrations in the southern hemisphere. Famous beaches such as Rio de Janeiro and Copacabana are overflowing with people having fun. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the beaches dressed in white and follow an interesting New Year's tradition. Everyone is making 7 wishes for the new year and while jumping over 7 waves. It is believed that these wishes will come true.
9. Kanamara Matsuri, Japan
Asian culture is home to some of the world's most interesting traditions. Kanayama monks, who believe in the Shinto religion, hold a penis festival called "Kanama Matsuri" in Japan every first Sunday of April. Yes, you heard right, we are talking about a festival in Kawasaki where parades with giant penises are held. It is possible to see penises everywhere during the festival. You can even eat a penis-shaped cake. It's pretty fun, but it's still considered a serious religious ritual.
10. Cheese Rolling, UK
Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, England, is the scene of an interesting race every Spring Break. The crowd is trying to catch the nearly nine-pound Double Gloucester cheese rolling down a hill. The winner gets the right to own this tasty cheese. The tradition has been around for 200 years and attracts people from all over the world. They come from New Zealand, the USA, even Nepal for the competition.
11. Farmer's Honest Shops, Switzerland
In the Swiss Alps, there is a shopping culture that can set an example for the whole world in the small shops of the local farmers. You can buy cheese, milk, bread, honey, and butter from these shops. However, no one is working in any of the shops, because they are all farmers and take care of their animals or their fields during the day. You have to put your money in a basket and leave. Sounds like a social experiment, right? But it isn't, and it's a wonderful tradition that shows that mutual trust is possible.
12. Feast for Monkeys, Thailand
In Lopburi, Thailand, a huge banquet is held annually in honor of the macaques. The reason behind this interesting tradition is that locals thank the macaques for good luck. For this, they prepare a pile of vegetables and fruits of about two tons. Tourists show great interest in the festival held on the last Sunday of November. The festival begins with the performances of dancers dressed in monkey costumes. Then the macaques come and enjoy the feast. It's one of the weirdest traditions in the world but also fun to watch.
13. Throwing the Babies, India
This scary-sounding tradition has been going on for nearly 500 years in the Indian state of Karnataka. Babies are thrown onto a cloth from the 15 meters high Sri Santeswar temple. The family completes the ritual by taking the baby after making a vow in the temple. This tradition is believed to bring good luck to the baby and lead a good life. Let's hope there are no unfortunate accidents.
14. Flag-throwing, Italy
The Italians turned a tradition from the Middle Ages into a festival in Tuscany. Its basis is that guild flags are considered sacred and not allowed to touch the ground. After a while, this started to be performed as acrobatic flag-throwing and became popular in many parts of Italy. Today, this interesting tradition, held in August as part of the Volterra Medieval Festival, is supported by marching bands and parades.
15. Beating Husbands, India
A very interesting tradition is kept alive in the Indian towns of Barsana and Nandagon. Every year, during the festival of Lathmar Holi for the divine couple Radha Krishna, the women of the village attack their husbands with enormous sticks called dandas. Men also both whistle and defend themselves with shields. Millions of believers and tourists come to the festival every year. You might even want to come over just to watch this weird tradition. Lathmar Holi festivities may be more colorful and fun than you think.
16. Dancing with the Dead, Madagascar
The Malagasy tribe in Madagascar has a funerary tradition that might seem strange in the rest of the world. In this tradition, called Famadihana, corpses are exhumed every seven years and wrapped in a new cloth. Then the crowd dances, carrying the corpse on their heads. The purpose of this interesting ritual is to celebrate the life lived by the deceased.
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