great cultures, traditions, customs and what not. India is being evolving since ages, from caves to cafes from bullock carts to cars, India have been the part of the Development. It learnt, it taught and It evolved.
Though there are times when faith overtakes reasoning and people become blind in that so-called process. Hearts are chosen instead head and never tend to think reasonably. Indian celebrations and rituals have grandeur and importance, but not without posing a few questions though. You don’t believe? Well, here is the list of some of the weirdest customs and traditions of India, which might awwww… or ewww… at the same time.
- Rats Drink Community milk in a temple.
This is a daily practice in Deshnoke near Bikaner, in Rajasthan. Thousands of rats are fed, protected and worshiped throughout the year. The rats here look at peace in as a community, conveniently sipping milk donated by the devotees inside the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnoke.
- Naughty kids get tied to the trees.
Well this one is tested and tried method for some of the Indian parents. A mother tied her four-year-old son to a tree with a cloth in order to stop him from running away. Such sights are very common for parents who are poor and have to work outside the house for hours. This assures the poor parents a security and safety.
- Smashing a coconut with head.
Some of the parts of the celebration of Gujarat Foundation day in Ahmedabad include breaking a coconut with head. Some of the performers break coconuts on their heads. Well this is gonna give every normal person a headache.
- Hanging by rope to throw Prasad.
This is a very weird ritual followed in Kolkata. To celebrate the last of day of the Bengali calendar the people of the state worship Lord Siva. There this ritual Chadak is followed where one of the devotees is tied to a rope to throw prasad to the remaining devotees down there. Lakhs of people attend this ritual every year.
- Fire Mouthing during a annual festival.
During the Jai Yatra procession where the holy water from Sabarmati river, a devotee performs a stunt with the fire. This chariot procession in Ahmedabad is one of the most visited by Indian people. But, would who dare to keep fire in their mouth?
- Removing kites from live wires.
Employees of Torrent Power Limited remove entangled kites at top from live electric power cables after the end of the kite flying season in the state of Gujarat. With just a dangling rope for protection and safety, it isn’t not advised to get on a live wire to cut off the wires. This isn’t called a custom or a tradition, this is called lack of necessary equipment.
- Police offers prayers to guns on Dussehra.
Well this is one on the top of its kind. A police officer is seen offering some prayers to various types of guns as a part of a ritual at the police headquarters on the eve of Vijaya Dashmi. The guns are considered as gods adorned in marigold flowers and decorated beautifully, until fired.
- Women holding umbrellas to receive rice.
As a part of Govardhan Pooja which is also known as Annakut, the temple authorities shower the waiting female devotees with the holy rice as a mark of the festival. Women devotees can be seen prepared to receive the rice by holding up clothes and umbrellas.
- Burning Camphor on Tongue.
Burning your tongue can be painful and frustrating, well but not for this devoted Sikh man. He can be seen performing with a burning camphor tablet on his tongue to mark the 413th anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious book of Sikhs, in Amritsar. Devotion is chosen over Oral Health.
- Performers paint tigers on their faces in South India.
Performers paint their faces to look like tigers during Puli Kali, a dance which marks the start of the annual harvest festival of Onam in Kochi. This colorful spectacle is performed by trained artists on the fourth day of Onam. They painted their bodies in Tiger attire of bright yellow, red and black. Quite an unbelievable sight, isn’t it?
- Attaching Lemons on back with needles.
That just hurts bad by looking at him! A devotee walks around the street with lemons attached to needles on his back. This isn’t any fun or any competition. He’s taking part in an annual religious procession called ‘Shitla Mata ‘in Chandigarh.
- Doing aerial gymnastics on pole.
These two performers are practicing Malkhamb which is traditional Indian gymnastics. It is all about power and balance. They are train gymnasts. They use aerial yoga and wrestling postures to balance themselves on hanging to a wooden pole or a rope.
- Kill or get killed in Bani festival.
Some celebrations are so strange, that they become unique. The Bani Festival is one such. Every Dussehra, hundreds of lathi -wielding devotees from Andhra and Karnataka gather to hit each other’s heads at midnight! They do this blood-thirsty act as a sign to commemorate the killing of a demon by Mala-Malleshwara (Shiva). This 100-year-old festival has surely got our heads rolling!
- Festival of snakes- Nag Panchami.
In Nepal the most dangerous species are worshiped in the name of Nag Panchami. The fangs are not removed and the women worship them with haldi kum kum with the cobras raising their hood. These cobras are also offered Milk as a ritual of the festival.
- Fire-walking as a re-enactment of Draupadi.
This festival is stranger than the ritual. Originated in Tamil Nadu, the practice of Theemithi which means fire walking, is a ceremony which extends to two-and-a-half-month period where parts of the Mahabharata are re-enacted. The festival is a celebration of Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. Devotees believe they will be granted a wish or blessing by the goddess.
- Infant tossing for good luck.
This would be a punishable offence if this wouldn’t be India. This weird ritual is followed in Sholapur in Maharashtra. The infants are tossed in the name of Good luck. Infants are dropped down from a height of 50 mts, they are caught by a group of men waiting with blankets down there. The agony the infants go through is spoken by the picture itself here.
- Hooking Flesh and Body piercing
This ritual has definitely frightening proportions! Celebrated in Tamil Nadu and parts of southern India during the Tamil month of Thai. Thaipoosam is a festival that honours Lord Murugan who is considered to be the son of Shiva and Parvati. It’s commenced after following a 48-day strict fast, where many Shiva devotees pierce their bodies with hooks and skewers. Most pinch their cheeks, tongues and other facial parts with sharp objects in order to obtain full concentration on the Lord.
- Rolling over the food leftover.
Caste-ism is ailed India as a primitive country forever due to such practices. The Kukke Subramania Temple has a strange centuries old tradition called Madey Snana which promotes discrimination. Here, people from the society’s lower castes roll themselves over the floor on food leftovers of Brahmins on banana leaves, to rid themselves of various ailments. This controversial practice was banned but got revived in 2011 after Malekudiya tribe protests.
- Practicing Cannibalisms in Varanasi.
The Aghori way of life is well understood in the streets of Banaras. The formidable Aghori Sadhus with their bodies smeared in human ash, necklaces laced with skeletons and piercing trance eyes are hard to miss. These saints have for centuries believed in renouncing the world by finding ‘purity in the filthiest.’ They are believed to hold ‘tantrik ‘vibes and eat human remains as their staple diet.
- Animal wedding to appease the rain god.
Everyone knows the importance of rain. They have to be on time and go on time. Across Assam and Maharashtra people try to appease the rain god by celebrating a frog wedding. In Karnataka Donkeys are married as the people believe that the rain god will shower them with happiness. These wedding happens like any other Hindu wedding ceremony with a priest performing the rituals.
Why India! Why ?