Reality is stranger than fiction. It is true; this world is full of strange reality that even fiction doesn’t stand by side sometimes. There are a lot of nail-biting rituals, beliefs, and festivals.
Let’s take a look.
1. Smashing coconuts on the head – Aadi Festival
Every year, people come to the Mahalakshmi Temple, Tamilnadu where they allow a priest to break the coconut by smashing on their heads. There is a folklore that goes:
“Britishers dug out 187 coconuts shaped stone to build a railway track around the temple. Villagers protested to save the temple and then Britishers put a condition that if villagers could break these stone by their head, they will not build the track. Villagers fulfilled that condition and won. They saved the temple and since then, they are following this practice for good luck, food and health”.
2. Tossing infants from the roof for good luck
Children are very delicate and you got be very careful while you are trying to impress them while playing along. A weird practice of tossing a baby from the roof is found in the state of Maharashtra.
Babies are dropped from a height of 50 feet and caught in a sheet. Why the death game? You may ask! For good luck, they say.
3. Rolling over food leftovers – Madey Snana
There is a strange traditional practice in the Kukke Subramania Temple, called Madey Snana. People from a lower cast have to roll over the leftover food. It might seem very strange to you. However, the roots are said to be caste division that still prevails (sadly, off course). Whatsoever may be the reason, which we are still trying to find, it is a very interesting one.
4. Cannibalism and Necromancy – The Aghori way of life
We all have seen Aghori Sadhus on Social media posts. Remember the Maha Kumbh? Also, if you have visited Varanasi, you might have encountered them. For your background (:p), their body is covered with ash and wear fewer clothes or no clothes.
They look scary too. Their belief is centered on the concept of purity and a direct path way to God. They devote their live to the Shiva that is zero, the beginning of everything and the end.
The fact for which you read all of it is that they eat human remains after the cremation and have intercourse with the dead bodies. It is a practice which if watched will increase your heartbeat for sure.
5. Kill or get killed – Bani Festival
Bani is celebrated in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In this festival, people come out with a wooden stick and gather around the Devaragattu Temple. They hit each other on the head with a stick at midnight. As per their belief, Lord Shiva killed the demon and they celebrate his victory.
6. Festival of the Snake – Nag Panchami
Snakes are one of the most dangerous creatures; no one would ever like to come across any but in India, people worship snakes. Yes, you heard it right. Nag Panchami is a festival where people worship snakes like King Cobra.
People feed them milk and rats; they believe that snakes don’t bite on the day of Nag Panchami.
7. Fire-Walking – Theemithi
Fire is one of the most dangerous and painful things to touch but in the state of Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and some parts of South Africa, people walk on the fire.
As per the Hindu mythology, Draupadi had to walk on fire to prove her loyalty. In the celebration of Theemithi, people seek blessings from the goddess by walking on fire like her.
8. Play of the Tiger – Puli Kali
This is the festival of energy and color. It celebrated in the state of Kerala where trained artists paint themselves as tigers. They come out on the street to dance on the traditional folk beats. Thousands of people come to be part of this festival.
Have you seen someone while they are getting pierced?
It is painful even for someone who is looking at it.
Thaupoosam is a festival where followers pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers, and lances called Vel.
People pull heavy objects and vehicles from the hooks upon their victory.
10. Facing the raging bull unarmed – Jallikattu
Spanish bullfighting is famous all over the world. India has something more dangerous sport called Jallikattu. People raise bulls with extra care and make them exercise to train them for the fighting day. On the day of the celebration, people chase the bull to snatch the prize from the horns. Here, they do not kill the bull, and that makes it the craziest festival.
11. Animal Weddings – Appeasing the Rain God
India is an agriculture-based country where rain becomes an important thing for all farmers. People do so many strange things to please the God of rain. Animal’s wedding has found is one of the ways to get blessings from rain God. Frog weddings and monkeys wedding have been found in different parts of the country.
12. Plucking hair out by the hand – Kesh Lochan
As per some of the religious beliefs, hair is considered an illusion. Jainist and Bushist monks remove their hair painfully by their hand without the help of any equipment. Post the plucking, they cover the injury by dry cow dung ash to heal.
13. Cow Trampling Ritual – Govardhan Puja
The cow is a sacred animal as per Hindu mythology, and they have been worshiped. Govardhan Puja happens after Diwali, people decorate their cattle nicely with colors and flowers. After the ritual, they lay and let the cattle run over them.
14. Exorcism by marriage – Human-Animal Weddings
There are different methods of exorcism to get rid of the evil spirits. In India, there is a unique practice of exorcism. When someone is born with facial deformation, it is believed to be possessed by evil spirits. A possessed person has to marry an animal to expel that spirit.
15. Worshiping Weapons – Ajudh/Astra Puja
In India, anything can be worshiped. In Ajudh, people worship weapons and pay respect to the machinery items.
They believe that weapons protect them so they respect and worship them.
16. Bhagoriya Festival
This is the festival for young boys and girls. Before the festival of Holi, young boys and girls gather. A boy applies red color on the face of the girl. If she does the same, they can elope together and marry. Remember the Bollywood movie Ram Leela by Sanjay Leela Banshali? Yes, you are right, it is showcased there.
17. Wedding without a bridegroom – Puberty ceremonies
Don’t get surprised, it does happen in India. When girls hit the age of puberty, their parents conduct a marriage ceremony without a groom. Friends and relatives are invited to give their blessings.
Do you know some strange or interesting festivals? Comment below.
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