Ceremonies and beliefs are part of our society, most often called Traditions. They are passed down through generations in constantly reminding us of our history. A few cultural customs are widely practiced and embraced by all, such as celebrating Christmas, anniversaries, and birthdays. At the same time, other traditions are unusual or intriguing and are only done by a small group of people.
Here are some fascinating rituals from all over the world that are quite educational and entertaining – some even help adventurous travelers plan their journeys.
Some traditions are unique, like the ones that give out money. Bolivia, a South American nation, has a one-of-a-kind New Year’s celebration. Bolivians actually bake cash into delicious sweets like cakes, while others look forward to witnessing fireworks and eating excellent meals. So whoever receives the cash in the food is thought to have a prosperous year ahead of them. And this custom continues to this day, with bakeries around the country participating in the joyous event.
Flag throwing has quite a long history in Tuscany, dating back to the Middle Ages. Military celebrations featuring marching bands and flag bearers were conducted because the Italians enjoyed a good party. Flag carriers must ensure that flags will not drop to the ground because they are held sacred. Flag tossing is now famous not only in Tuscany but throughout Italy. The Volterra Medieval Festival takes place in August and includes marketplaces and unusual events, such as the renowned flag throwing.
We have heard about different kinds of sports. But have you heard of finger-pulling? Finger-pulling was once intended to settle a disagreement, has become regarded as a sport in the Alps. Competitors go through extensive training before the event. The battle is between two people, and the first one can drag the other contender to his side with just his finger wins. Despite its rarity, Finger-pulling is recognized as a game in numerous European countries, including Finland, Austria, and Bavaria.
This spectacular event in Northern Thailand, usually held in Chiang Mai in November, draws a large crowd. Hundreds of gorgeous lanterns would be flying in the sky during this historic event. You’ve certainly seen such a beautiful landscape in photographs or perhaps in popular films like Tangled. Still, nothing compares to witnessing it in person. Making a wish first before lanterns are released is customary, so consider yourself lucky if you can be in the neighborhood during the celebration. What are the chances? Your dreams may come true.
Love throwing water at others? This is the place foryou to be. Migus Dyngus, often known as “Wet Monday,” is a peculiar Polish festival in which individuals dump water at one another. Though the practice’s origins are uncertain, Migus Dyngus is commemorated on Easter Mondays every year. Boys throw some water at young girls in the customary method, believing that the girl who gets the most water thrown at her has the best likelihood of getting wedded. Nowadays, many Poles continue to do so on the same holiday.
Cooper’s Hill is a charming suburb in Gloucester, England, where people gather to celebrate a strange pastime characterized as cheese chasing or cheese rolling. The event dates back to the 1800s, and it entails competitors chasing a rolling cheese down a sloping hillside. The prize winner will receive a delectable wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. With that, only a few candidates will be able to keep afloat.
Households who can fund expensive banquets for visitors and new attire for the living and dead ancestors commemorate the Famadihana celebration every seven years. This ceremony, also known as the turning of the bones, marks the deceased and showcases family ties. To pay honor to their ancestors, surviving generations dance with their ancestors who have passed away. They even present gifts to those who have passed away. And during the celebration, weeping is forbidden. Families in Madagascar have been doing it for a long time and plan to keep up the bizarre tradition in the future.
The Day of Silence, or Nyepi, known in Bali, is a celebration marked by fasting and meditating. In the Balinese calendar, it is essentially New Year. All sounds, lights, and other activities are turned off throughout the island, resulting in complete silence. Balinese people spend days before the main festival making the ogoh-ogoh (devil) sculptures that would be utilized and carried around the streets during the Pengrupukan event. This is done just before Nyepi. After allegedly drawing demons and evil spirits, the sculptures are then burned to clear the area of the destructive forces. Tourists travel to Bali expressly to see Nyepi because of its captivating nature.
In Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest is a two-week celebration. It was initially held to mark the future king of Bavaria’s wedding to Princess Therese. Although this is known as Oktoberfest, the festivities begin in September and conclude on the first Sunday of October. And during the celebration, delectable foods such as roast chicken, sausages, pretzels, and more are enjoyed. Millions worldwide attend, and it is customary to consume beer at local breweries throughout the festivities. Many visitors flock with their friends or loved ones, so if you want to participate in the fun, dance to the music, and learn about Munich’s culture, this is the place to go.
Even if certain customs may appear unusual or strange, individuals hold them dear to their hearts and continue to follow the age-old rites. It molds and distinguishes people as it is an element of their culture and background. In reality, this is what separates one human group from another. These ceremonies and distinctive traditions are still followed worldwide because of their deep-seated beliefs. It connects us to the past’s invisible world. Make sure to arrange your travels carefully so that you can witness at least one of these great rituals.