30 Bizarre Traditions From Around The World That’ll Make Your Jaw Drop

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Bridesmaids all wear matching colors because of an old tradition that dictated they not only dress like each other but like the bride herself in order to confuse evil spirits or those who wished to harm the bride.

2. Jallikattu is a traditional bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu, India where the bull is not killed and the competitors are unarmed.

3. People of the Mantawaians tribe in Indonesia have a belief that women look more beautiful if they have sharp pointy teeth, so these tribal women chisel their teeth to attain the desired look.

4. There exists a Greek wedding tradition in which the bride write the names of their single girlfriends on the bottom of their wedding day shoes with a belief that the first woman’s name to be erased will be the next to get married.

5. After death, Jewish tradition requires that the body be wrapped in a plain linen shroud and the clothing and coffin be simple to make sure that poor do not receive less honor in death than the rich.

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There was a Roman priesthood whose job was to perform a specific dance and chant around sacred shields. Since this ritual was unchanged for centuries, later Romans had no idea what the ritual actually meant while still continuing the tradition.

7. The skull binding tradition in old Mayan culture was done by distorting the normal growth of the skull of a child as small as a month old for six months. The people with deformed elongated head were believed to be more intelligent, of higher status and closer to the spirits. 

8. William the Conqueror introduced a custom to the United Kingdom. According to this custom, people would leave their homes and move to a summer home to aid the grape harvest. Due to the act of vacating their usual home, this custom was given the name: vacation.

9. There is a time-honored tradition of allowing brewery employees all the free beer they wish while working: It's called Der Sternewirth.

10. There was an ancient Persian custom to debate “affairs of weight” while drunk and sober. The same conclusion had to be reached when drunk and sober to be acted upon.

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11HMS Birkenhead

The tradition of "women and children first" protocol is a legacy from the Birkenhead, a ship that ran into a dangerous reef, and whose soldiers famously stood firm allowing the women and children to board the boats safely as there were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers.

12. Spartan marriage involved a custom of capturing a woman, shaving her head, and dressing her in a man's clothing. Then the groom/capturer would secretly visit her and finally, sleep with her. All Spartans were required to marry at the age of 30.

13. The Karen tribe of Thailand follows a bizarre tradition of wearing rings on their neck to get a large neck. They believe that the large neck is a symbol of beauty and elegance.

14. In some parts of China there is a bizarre belief that if a husband carries his pregnant wife over burning coals bare feet, the wife will have easy and successful labor.

15. For centuries, Hindus in India practiced Sati, where widows were obliged to commit suicide upon their husband's death, often by self-immolation on their funeral pyre. The British banned it in the 19th century.

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It is an old Jewish tradition for a mom to slap her daughter across the face when she gets her first period.

17. It is a wedding custom for Turkish brides to spike the groom's coffee with salt before the wedding; if he drinks it without complaint, he's a keeper.

18. There are still street merchants in Baltimore, called Arabbers, who carry on a 150-year-old tradition of traveling around the city selling fruits and vegetables out of a horse-drawn cart.

19. The Dani tribe in Papua, Indonesia used to follow a weird tradition. Women of the tribe used to cut off a part of their fingers when a member of the family died. This tradition however died out with the advent of Christianity in the valley and it is now officially banned.

20. By tradition, a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt hangs over the mantel of the Roosevelt Room during the administration of a president from the Democratic Party and a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt is hung up and during the administration of a Republican president.

21Aboriginal custom

Aboriginal custom throughout Australia forbids husband from talking to their mother-in-law or even seeing her. "Avoidance relationships are a mark of respect. The relationship is one of respect, but avoidance."

22. The tradition for standing during the Hallelujah chorus of Handel's Messiah started because King George II stood during it at the first performance in England, and then everyone else had to stand up, and no one knows why George stood up.

23. There exists a 3000-year old Chinese tradition called Ghost Marriages, in which two people who have died single are married to each other. In some cases, the parents of unmarried men buy female corpses so that their sons could have a wife in the afterlife.

24. The Spanish have a tradition called Twelve Grapes in which they eat a grape with each bell strike at the midnight of December 31.

25. Fāl-gūsh is the Persian custom of eavesdropping on the conversations of random passersby in order to divine the future.


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