Bizarre customs from around the world

Ash Soup

The Yanomami tribe of Brazil and Venezuela takes part in a rather odd burial ritual. Well, odd for us Westerners. When a member of the tribe passes away, their body gets burned, and the ashes and bones are pounded into a powder and mixed into a soup. The people of the tribe then drink the soup. They do this because they hold the belief that by drinking the ashes of a loved one, their spirit will be with you forever. They also believe that a body that isn’t cremated will cause an angry spirit to form because it didn’t get to be with it’s loved ones.



Bullet ant gloves

The Satere-Mawe tribe of the Amazon lay claim to what is probably the most painful initiation ritual on the planet. In order to be seen as a “man” in the eyes of the tribe, you must take part in the bullet ant glove. After becoming of age, boys will travel into the jungle with a medicine man to collect bullet ants, which have the most painful bite in the world. The ants are then drugged and put into mesh gloves. Once they are awake and angry, the boys must stick their hands into these gloves for 10 minutes while they do a dance. They don’t do this just once, but 20 times before they are considered to be men.



Pomlázka Whip

In the Czech Republic, there is a tradition in which men go house to house lightly tapping women’s asses with a stick called a Pomlázka. This goes down every Easter Monday and apparently is done to help with the women’s fertility.



Cinnamon Attacks

In Denmark, if you are still single or unmarried by the time you turn 25, well…lets just say I hope you like cinnamon. Apparently, there is a tradition in Denmark where your friends and family will ambush you and throw cinnamon at you all throughout the day. It gets worse- if you’re still unmarried at 30, you’ll get covered in pepper.



The Sock Line

Here we go again with the unmarried rituals. In Germany, if you are unmarried by the time you turn 25, you can expect a long garland of socks strung from your house all the way to the venue of your birthday party. On your way there, you typically have to take a drink every few socks


Kanamara Matsuri

Is that a giant pink penis parading through the streets of Japan? Yup. Kanamara Matsuri is a festival that goes back as far as the 17th century. People dress up as penises, eat penis shaped foods, and parade with penis shaped items. Why? It’s done to honour the legend of a woman who had teeth on her vagina that ate penises until a brave man built an iron penis that broke her teeth.



Arriving Late

So, in Venezuela, if you are invited to an event at somebodies house, and you show up on time, you’re being rude. It is typically recommended that you show up approximately 15 minutes late. Why? Apparently guests who show up on time are seen as greedy and too eager.



Coal Walking

In China, there is a tradition in which a man carries his pregnant wife over burning coal with bare feet. They do this with the belief that it will help the wife have an easy delivery.



Blackening of the Bride

In Scotland, if you’re getting married, you can expect to have nasty rotten eggs, rotten fish, old milk, and other nasty shit thrown at you. You are then paraded around for everyone to see. They do this under the belief that if the couple can withstand this, they can withstand anything.



Russian Vodka

There are several rules when it comes to drinking water in Russia. Sorry, I mean Vodka. After a toast, you may not place your glass back onto the table if there’s still vodka in it. It’s toast and bottoms up. If you’re late for a dinner, you’re required to down a glass of vodka right away in order to catch up with everyone else. Also, between the first and second shots you take at dinner, there is to be no talking, only drinking. Lastly, if you ever dare to propose a toast with an empty glass, you’re forced to drink an entire bottle.



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