We all have traditions. Whether they’re snapping the wishbone of a turkey, leaving mince pies out for Santa or a good ol’Sunday roast.
Many countries around the world have their own and some (to us at least) are a little bizarre; here are our top traditions from around the world.
Carrying a woman over hot coals: Yep, you read that right! According to Chinese customs, a husband should carry his bride over a pan of burning coal when they enter their home for the first time. Apparently this ensures that when the time comes, the bride will have an easy and successful labor. Well then…
Living with the dead: Nope, that’s not the title for a new horror flick, it’s common practice for Indonesian families to…dress up their deceased family members in special garbs. It’s thought that by doing this, their loved one’s soul will be preserved until burial. While it’s kind of touching, it’s definitely on the creepy scale.
No thumbs up in Iran: Whereas giving someone a thumbs up in the UK can mean “good job!” basically in Iran, you’d be telling someone where to go (and not very politely at that!). A thumbs up is their equivalent of us sticking our middle finger up at someone, which in Iran is perfectly safe! A little strange maybe, but safe.
Tibetan Sky Burial: This is a funerary practice (obviously) in Tibet where the deceased’s body is incised in various places and then laid on a mountain top. This means the body is fully exposed to the natural elements and the animals nearby, but this ritual is much more spritual than it seems. It signifies the fleetingness of life and is considered very generous as you’re providing food for the animals as they provide for people. Not so weird afterall!
Ah, the end of the list – of course this is going to be the weirdest…
Yanomami ash eating: Not just any ash either; we’re talking your deceased grandmother or uncle. The Yanomami tribe of Venezula and Brazil forbids burial or preserving their dead, so they cremate them instead. And once this has happened the ash is returned to the family to be eaten. Yum?