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Top 10 Unusual Traditions From All Over the World

If chewing loudly while you eat is gross, check out these unusual traditions!  

There is no surprise that every culture has its own traditions and customs that seem out of this world to “outsiders.” But with this amazing tool called the internet, we can discover some of the weirdest and most unusual traditions from even the smallest corners of the world. The best example is American customs, which were shaped by the blending of many cultures and religions throughout the country’s extensive history of migration. Halloween? Among the various cultural practices that Americans have absorbed from other countries.

From boot tossing to frog dancing, here’s a tremendous list of some of the most unusual traditions from all over the world. And by the end of the article, don’t forget to leave us a comment with your favorite!

unusual traditions
Photo by Swapan Photography from Shutterstock

10. Throwing cinnamon at a 25-year old

Single and ready to mingle? You better hurry up and find yourself a partner unless you really like cinnamon! One of the most unusual traditions in the entire world takes place in Denmark, and it’s about unmarried people. If you’re “lucky” to be 25 years old and you must spend Valentine’s Day alone, you will get through a “challenge.”

First, everybody will laugh at you, then you will get splashed with water, and then…get ready for the final step: you will get covered in cinnamon! It’s a centuries-old custom that is more of an excuse to have fun with family and close friends than a means of punishment. Funny, right?

However, be prepared to receive some black pepper if you are over 30 and still single.

9. Carry your wife’s challenge

Have you ever heard of the wife-carrying tradition, or Eukonkanto in Finnish? A lot of men participate annually with their wives in this funny competition when you, as the head of the family, must prove your strength and carry your wife on your back. Who’s going to win the game? The fastest man!

8. Welly throwing

If Eukonkanto sounds funny, what do you think about throwing boots as far as possible? This is another funny story that also has its roots in Finland! If anywhere else people wear boots on their feet, in Finland things are a tad different. There is an annual competition in which people toss their boots as far as possible. The boots are filled with water before being thrown to make the game harder.

In 1978, there was a person who threw the boot so far that he soon entered the Guinness Book of World Records. We already know what we will be doing next year!

7. Wedding shower or “Polterabend”

Among other unusual traditions, we must mention the wedding shower tradition from Germany, which is held one day before the couple is going to marry. The family throws a big party, and all the family and friends gather to celebrate the couple.

Besides enjoying some good food, they also smash things on the floor, such as tiles, plates, and even flowerpots. These are supposed to bring good luck to the newlyweds! But if somehow you’re invited to one of these parties, make sure you avoid smashing mirrors! They bring the opposite of good luck.

6. La Tomatina

One of the funniest and most unusual traditions takes place in Spain. This one is called Tomatina,” and as you probably guess, it’s a tomato fight. There are numerous hypotheses regarding how it happened, but we don’t truly know for sure.

One of the most well-known is that, in 1945, individuals excluded from a procession of giants and bearded men sparked a fight in the town’s main plaza using tomatoes from a nearby vegetable store as weapons.
Whatever the case, this yearly celebration, which takes place in Spain on the final Wednesday of August as part of a week of celebrations in Buñol, consists very literally of people tossing tomatoes at one another for amusement. What do you think of this tradition? Would you like to participate in it? Tell us in the comments.

Curious about other unusual traditions from Spain, or are you planning on visiting anytime soon? We’ve got your back! This amazingly affordable Guide to Customs and Culture in Spain is available on Amazon in Kindle format for only $10.49. If Kindle doesn’t suit your needs, we at Mind-Bending Facts recommend you check out the paperback format that is available to purchase for $14.99! 

5. Festival of scrambled eggs

…Mmm eggs! Before getting deeper into this paragraph, we suggest you have a snack since you might get a tad hungry. There is no surprise in admitting that eggs are probably one of the most popular and versatile foods in the entire world. It’s easy to make, and you can have it as breakfast, a snack, or even dinner. While everybody else is cooking them regularly in their kitchen for the family, Bosnia took this step a little further by holding an annual festival of scrambled eggs.

It takes place in the spring season, and everybody is welcome to cook scrambled eggs in the morning and then spend the rest of the day making stuff for fun, relaxing, and enjoying themselves.

What a nice way to say hello to the most beautiful season!

4. Famadihana

For most of us, funerals are grim and overwhelming, but for others, they are a way to send their loved ones to a better place. This is also the case for a tribe in Madascar that performs a burial custom called “famadihana.” This ritual involves dancing with the bodies of the departed to celebrate their lives. In most cases, the families pick the music their loved ones used to listen to while they were alive.

This ceremony is held every seven years, and after that, the bodies are wrapped in new fabric and put in the grave again.

3. Ostrich racing

Riding a horse is normal, but have you heard about ostrich racing? Ostrich-riding competitions showed up in various places throughout the country when ostriches were first brought to the US in the 1880s. In 2019, Arizona’s Chandler Ostrich Festival had its biggest race to date. You were there?

2. Smashing coconuts on people’s skulls

If someone threw a coconut in your head, how would you react? You’ll most likely become angry! The people from India, on the other hand, do not feel this way. Hindu believers will congregate inside a temple and wait for their turn.

As a symbol to the gods that they are requesting success and health, the high priest will crush the coconut on the heads of each of them one by one. Warnings that this rite might not be safe to undertake were disregarded, and individuals nonetheless carried out the practice every year.

unusual traditions
Photo by Oleggg from Shutterstock

1. Shoving faces in cake

“For he’s a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny.” The beginning of every successful birthday party starts like this, and everyone is happy to celebrate their loved one. But what if instead of eating the cake, it is shoved into your face? One of the most unusual traditions takes place in Mexico, and for them, this is something common.

The celebrant’s hands are tied behind them, and when they take their first bite, they are shoved into the cake and shouted at, “Mordida! Mordida! Mordida!” which is translated as bite it. Funny, right?

How do you feel about these unusual traditions? Do you know others that must be included in this list? Tell us in the comments section below!

You may also enjoy reading 9 Strange Landmarks Famous For Their Chilling History.

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