India is a land of diverse cultures, vibrant traditions and some really bizzare rituals too. While the most successful CEO’s around the world have a good number of Indians but we are still bound by the many rites and customs which are an intrinsic part of our lives. These bizzare rituals and festivals from India are gripping, fascinating and astounding adding to the traditional frenzy. From birth to death and even beyond, yes we even have rituals to appease the ones that passed and seek peace, luck and fortune from it. Many of these are specific to Hindu’s and not just the one’s who stay in India but elsewhere too some of these strange Indian ritual practices prevail.
Check out these Bizzare Rituals and festivals which are Buzzing all around even now:
Look at the something old, something new or the pair under mistletoe or even the wearing of veil; the rituals and superstitions make up our civilization. While most of these customs in the West may not be as bizzare to us, but some of our Indian rituals sure opens our mouth wide in surprise. These rites look as painful to the one who performs and to the one who looks at, but for age old tradition it all is meant for something sacred and solemn:
1- Cannibalism by Aghori’s:
Ever heard of the Aghori’s, they eat anything around specially the dead human body. They are the cult followers of Lord Shiva, they drag dead bodies from their corpse and open it limb by limb after performing meditation on it, only to eat it all. They use human bones as their vessels too.
2- Baby Tossing in Karnataka:
Remember the mass trolling Michael Jackson faced for hanging the baby on a window. Now think of a tradition where an infant is tossed from rooftop and people below are meant to grab the baby in hopes of good fortune, long life and happiness. Yes in India specially in the state of Karnataka, during the month of December babies are tossed from a temple roof around 200 feet above the ground. A group of men are standing below to catch the baby with a piece of cloth spread out.
3- Bani Festival in Andhra Pradesh to kill or get killed:
Celebrated at the Devaragattu temple in Kurnool, during Dussehra by lathi wielding devotees. They hit each other on the heads till the break of dawn to commemorate the killing of Demon by Shiva. Medical attendants and Police are deployed but they are unable to stop this.
4- Fire Walking in Kerala:
Walk barefoot on fire, on Theemithi, the celebration of Draupadi the wife of Pandavas. Where she walked on fire to prove her purity. This is a re-enactment of the same along with other excerpts from Mahabharata. It is believed to grant a wish or blessing by the lord
5- Jallikattu or facing a raging bull unarmed; in Tamil Nadu:
A rustic and dangerous form of ritual where people go unarmed right in front of a raging bull as a part of Pongal celebration. Hundreds of men chase these sturdy bull to snatch prize off their horns, and the bull is not killed in this sport. Killing over hundreds of people, this ritual was banned by supreme court of India, it was the most bizzare practice.
6- Animal wedding to appease the god of Rain:
Marrying animals in popular in many states to seek rains. Frog, dog and donkeys are some popular animals which are married in utmost pomp and show by a priest. All of the hind marriage rituals are followed in these proceedings
7- Cow Tramping in Madhya Pradesh:
Cows are sacred for Hindus and this trampling ritual from Madhya Pradesh is not just horrifying but fatal too. Devotees lie down and cows decorated in henna and colors trample over them in hopes for good luck and prosperity. Specially on Ekadashi after Diwali for celebrating Goverdhan Puja.
8- Hanging by hooks in Kerala:
Performed in Kali Temple in Kerala, this ritual is not just shocking but painful to watch too. Dancers dress up as Garuda the vehicle of lord Vishnu, and after performing they hang like eagles by hooking flesh of their body and they are taken around the city in a colorful procession
9- Kesh Lochan by Jain Monks:
Jain Monks pull out each strand of hair by their own hands and not just at their renunciation but entire life as a monk. The wounds are then covered in dry cow dung ash for healing. This is in hopes of moksha or eternity
10- Fighting with Fire at Mangalore Agni Keli:
8 day celebration in the month of April on the festival of Kateel Durga Parmeswari. Hundreds of devotes who are bare bodied hurl flaming palm fronds at each other and those who suffer burns are later sprayed with water.
11- Smashing coconuts on heads in Tamil Nadu:
In Tamil month of Aadi, thousands of devotees flock Mahalaxmi Temple and allow priests to smash coconuts on their head for good luck and health. And despite warning by health care professionals, the ritual continues even now.
12- Wedding without a Groom at Puberty:
To announce sexual maturity and puberty of a woman and her readiness to get married, this ritual is performed in just like marriage. All the wedding ceremonies in their true grandeur are carried out except the groom or vidaai. For several days the girl is not allowed to meet any men including her father or brothers.
13- Babies dunked in boiling water in Bijapur:
To thank the almighty 3 month old babies are dunked in boiling hot water and immediately taken out but suffering huge burns. This ritual has been banned as many infant lives were taken and many injured badly
14- Burying children in sand in Karnataka:
Physically handicapped kids are buried under sand up to their neck on the day of solar eclipse. Kids are placed in it for several hours and it is believed to be a treatment for these specially abled children
15- Made Snana from South India:
Devotees roll over the leftover food on plantain leaves to seek relief from their health issues. This is the same food which is served as prasadam and the devotees eat it first and the leftover is used for rolling.
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