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It’s Your Bday… Well! Happy Birthday… Suppose you are going to cut the cake and some push your face in the cake? what will you do?
Or, imagine a scenario where avoiding misfortune implied conversing with birds at the park.
Without a doubt, these things may appear to be wacky to you, yet they’re truly ordinary traditions in different nations. Also, some solid truly fun!
Here Are 30 Strange Customs and Traditions Around the World.
#1. La Tomatina Festival
If you ever find yourself in the Spanish town of Buñol at the end of August, I sure hope you brought some protective gear! That is if you happen to catch La Tomatina, a massive, one-day, lighthearted food fight with none other than the beloved tomato – or Tomah-to. (yep, Thousands of people, thousands of tomatoes. You do the math.)
And, don’t forget to duck!
#2. “Happy Birthday” and someone will push your face in the cake!
“Happy Birthday, now shove your face in this cake!” is something you might hear in Mexico. Here, as you get your birthday cake and are going to take that first delightful bite, somebody will probably push your face directly into it! (You see that at the US Weddings a lot these days. Just a waste of good cake for me.)
#3. Birthday celebration with a string of old socks!
In Germany, if you’re 25 and single, your friends will often lead you to your birthday party with a string of old socks as you celebrate with drinks. I sure hope they washed those socks beforehand!
#4. Pull my finger – A competitive Sports
In the United States, “pull my finger” is a risky – smelly – game. But in Germany, Scandinavia Austria, and Bavaria, finger pulling (or Fingerhakeln) is a competitive sport!
Competitors will often even pull each other across the table with their middle finger. Because they’re pulling so hard! (Are we sure it’s not that the guy is being jet propelled across the table?)
#5. Before going on vacation sit down with your family
If you’re going on vacation and want to leave with as many good vibes as possible, sit down with your family first before you head out the door.
In Russia, people believe that sitting down with your household before leaving for a trip ensures that you have a good trip and averts misfortune.
#6. Reverse your bad luck – Talk to Magpies
If you’re taking a walk in the park in the UK, you might spot a gentleman tip his hat to a magpie. That’s because, in British folklore, these little birds are bad omens. But if you tip your hat to it and say, “Good morning, Mr. Magpie and how is your lady wife today?” you’ll reverse your bad luck!
#7. Cinnamons on your 25th Birthday!
In Denmark, if it’s your 25th birthday or higher and you’re still single, your friends and family throw handfuls of cinnamon at you.
The odd tradition is based on history, that way back in the 16th century, Danish spice merchants used to stay unmarried because they were too busy traveling around the world, (you know, trying to spice things up.)
#8 Don’t give Yellow Roses!
Roses are red, violets are blue, but give someone yellow roses in Mexico, and it’s goodbye to you! That’s because, in this country, yellow roses signify death.
If you’re gifting someone a bouquet for their birthday or anniversary, you’d better stick with a good all dozen red roses.
#9 Spitting is Appropriate!
If you were to spit at your boss or a family member when you greeted them, it’d be considered pretty darn rude. But in the Maasai tribe in Kenya and northern Tanzania, spitting into their hands before a handshake is considered appropriate and respectful.
This is often the way people in the tribe wish each other good luck and safe travels. It’s even done at weddings, so imagine spitting on the bride as a good gesture! It’s also how they secure a deal. Kha-ptew put it right there! (Yeah, that’ll take some getting used to…)
#10. Cleaning Dishes one night Before Marriage!
You might gift newly-weds with some sparkling new Dinner set, but in Germany, family and friends break dishes the night before a wedding!
Doing this tradition, known as Polter-abend, is believed to bring good luck to the couple, who are expected to clean the mess up and learn how to work together! (and if not, there’ll be more dish breaking later down the road…)
#11. Running Late is not a problem?
In Venezuela, the early bird doesn’t necessarily get the worm. There, running late isn’t a problem the way it is in the US and other countries.
When it comes to parties or even work meetings, arriving a few minutes late isn’t considered rude. Alright, I’ll be booking my ticket now…
#12. Groundhog Tradition to tell spring is here or not?
You didn’t think I wasn’t gonna include something strange from the US, did you? How about donning top hats and looking at a groundhog named “Punxsutawney Phil” to tell us if spring is here or not?
The Groundhog Day tradition goes back to February 2, 1887. (Ya know, before we had advanced meteorology to goof up the forecast!) Well, in any case, if this furry ground-dweller sees his shadow, that supposedly means 6 more months of winter!
#13. Wear yellow hats to celebrate Single Life!
If you wanna stand out as a single person, you’ll love the French celebration of Saint Catherine’s Day or the Patron Saint of unmarried women.
On this day in November, bachelorettes aged 25 or older rock green or yellow hats to celebrate the single life! (Hey, what’s up with 25? It’s always 25 – is that the deadline or something?… well probably long, long ago when life expectancy was 28, they didn’t want to you keeping dilly-dallying or something I guess.
#14. Throwing Furniture out of your house on New Year Eve!
Who needs noisemakers and champagne when you can just throw your furniture out the window to ring in the New Year?
In South Africa, the tradition of chucking chairs, tables, and whatever furniture out the window onto the street for the New Year has been going strong since the end of apartheid.
This symbolizes the act of ridding your home of past sorrows so that you can make room for happier, more hopeful times! (You know, if they started doing that in Times Square in New York, I think I’d watch – from a distance.)
#15. Carrying Empty Suitcases!
And if you thought to throw your furniture out the window was strange, you’ll be scratching your head at the South American tradition of carrying around an empty suitcase for the New Year!
By walking a block with the empty luggage, you’re supposed to bring hope and new adventure into the upcoming year — and hopefully a nice vacation so that you can put stuff in that suitcase!
#16. Business Meetings at the Sauna
Business meetings in the office can be so stuffy and boring. So why not head to the sauna with your boss and coworkers? Well, that’s how they do it in Finland, where the sauna serves as a perfectly good spot to hold meetups and other important gatherings in the professional space. But you’ll probably wanna remember your robe in there…
#17. Using Your left Hand is Bad Thing
Even if you’re naturally a leftie, using this hand is considered pretty rude in a lot of Middle Eastern countries. This is because the left hand is the designated “cleaning hand” in the bathroom and, therefore, it’s the dirty one. The right hand is supposed to be used during meals and for shaking people’s hands. Since we’re on the topic of bathroom duties…
#18. No Toilet Papers In Restroom
If your biggest fear is doing your business in a restroom that’s run out of toilet paper, well…you might have some problems when visiting India. That’s because in most parts of this country, instead of toilet paper, people use water to cleanse their, uh, private areas. It may sound odd to Westerners, but at least they don’t have to worry about clogging up the plumbing as much, right? Okay, there’s still a question as to what you ultimately do to clean up, but I guess we’ll leave that to the imagination (Or let me know down in the comments if you know the answer.)
#19. Buffet for Monkey…
In Thailand, there are tons of stray monkeys hanging around. And once a year in Lopburi, Bangkok, people dump over 6,600 pounds (3,000 kg) of fruits and veggies out for the little guys to munch on in what’s referred to as the Monkey Buffet Festival. (I’ll bet they go ape over it! Uh, you could see that one coming, couldn’t ya?)
#20. Crying Before Marriage
When you think of a wedding, you probably imagine fun, laughter, and celebration (and lots of cake in the face!). But in China, a traditional wedding is preceded by the bride crying a month before her big day. After a few days, she’s joined by her mother, grandmother, and other family members. But here’s the thing, this month-long cry sesh is to show joy for her future marriage! O-kay.
#21. Don’t Clink Your Glass
In America and lots of other countries, it’s typical to clink glasses before drinking. But in Hungary, no one clinks glasses at bars or around the dinner table. Ever since the Austrians defeated the Hungarians during the revolution and celebrated by clinking their glasses, the Hungarians swore off this tradition! (So I’m thinking if they do it anyway, do they then get thrown in the Clink [jail]? Hey, it was worth a shot…)
#22. Using the Toilet is Bad Luck
While we consider it bad luck to see the bride before the big day, people in Tidong, Indonesia believe using the toilet 3 days after the wedding is bad luck. Family members typically watch over the newlyweds to make sure they don’t use the bathroom at all! (I wonder how many of them explode. So then I guess it’s really like a race to see who “passes” first, the newlyweds or the 3 days! Where do they come up with this?)
#23. Ask For Extra Ice
Americans are used to having copious amounts of ice in their drinks. But in many places in Europe, having little or no ice at all is the norm. If you’re dining in these places, you need to ask for extra ice. Otherwise, you’ll have to enjoy your Coke at room temperature. Oh, the horror!
#24. Cocktail of Squeezed Roots
If you ever visit Fiji, you’ll likely be greeted by a cocktail containing juice from squeezed roots served in a wooden bowl known as Kava. And apparently, it has, shall we say “psychoactive effects”, Uh-huh. So you might wanna go easy on the Kava or just grab a lemonade instead!
#25. Cheese Wheel
In Gloucester, England on the last Monday of May, a giant wheel of Double Gloucester Cheese is pushed down Cooper’s Hill while spectators are encouraged to chase it. Whoever catches it and doesn’t fall flat on their face gets to take the cheese wheel home! And I’m thinking, what if the out of control Cheese wheel takes out a sidewalk full of spectators?
#26. Marrying a Tree is Okay!
Some women in India marry trees the reason for this strange tradition is that in Vedic Astrology. It’s believed that people who are under the strong influence of Mars were not born for happy marriages.
These people are called Manglik, and there are even special sections on matchmaking sites or Manglik scan mingle with each other. It is believed that one man link can neutralize the influence of another one.
However, the situation is more difficult for Manglik women, because people in India believe that a wife with the dangerous Mars influence in her horoscope can worsen the health of her husband.
That’s why these women are instructed to first marry entry so that the curse of Mars passes on to the tree. After the ceremony, the tree is cut and burned and the woman is then allowed to marry a man. Strange Enough!
But Manglik men don’t need to go through any ritual. Indians believe that it is only the wives who can affect their husband’s health and destiny or they simply care less about the well-being of the wife and the family.
#27. Banana Leaf as Plate
People in Indonesia sometimes used banana leaves instead of plates. The same tradition can be seen in other hot countries. But in some parts of Indonesia, a banana leaf serves as a plate for several people at once. This type of getting together is called Mataram, which means eating together.
People from completely different social positions can eat from one leaf. A taxi driver, A governor, An unemployed person, A teacher, The mayor of the city, etc. It’s believed that Mataram unites all people, regardless of their origin. Cutlery is also not used during the meal. The food is eaten with the hands.
#28. Goddess in Nepal
There is a culture of live Kumari Goddesses in Nepal and is made up of little girls. People in Nepal believe that the Hindu Goddess Taleju has an earthly incarnation in little girls, whose bodies she sometimes possesses the process of looking for Kumari.
The living goddess looks like the process of searching for the Dalai Lama’s new incarnations. It is done by astrologists and monks. They search for Kumari among the shaky case, in the new Ari community there are several Kumari in the country, but the most famous one is the royal Kumari, that lives in Kathmandu.
The selection process consists of several strict rituals, after which the chosen one settles in a palace where she receives visitors with presents, who hope that the Living Goddess will send them blessings for good health as well as solutions to all their problems.
#29. Building Temporary Dwellings
People in Israel build temporary dwellings called Sukkot, to live there. During the celebration of Sukkot, it is customary to build temporary shelters called Sukkot in yards or on balconies. These are built-in memory of the wanderings of the Jews in the Sinai desert.
Before the celebrations of the Sukkot, feasts start. It is considered a sacred duty one should spend as much time as possible in a Sukkot. During the week of celebrations eat there to rest and pray there if living there is not an option of having meals in a Sukkot twice a day is obligatory.
#30. New Born Baby is One year old
Newborn babies in South Korea and some other countries are considered one-year-old. Additionally, it’s a belief that a person becomes one year older not on their birthday but that is celebrated too but on the first day of the Lunar New Year.
So if a kid was born on the 29th day of the twelfth month according to the lunar calendar, it means he will turn 2 years old on the first day of the lunar new year., when in fact he is just several days old. Contemporary Gregorian calendars as well as, the contemporary measurement of age are used in Korea too.
They use this data when filling out various documents and this age is used to define when they start school or when they are allowed to get legally married.
Well. What can I add to that? Do you know any other Strange Customs and Traditions that might seem odd to outsiders? Let me know down in the comments!
If you learned something new today, then share it with a friend, and let them know about these Strange Customs and Traditions Around the World…
Till then Stay Safe and Keep Learning!!!