India has all sorts of religions and beliefs embedded in its history that are still carried on today. These weird practices are performed with a lot of pomp and show by a massive part of the population. Here are the strangest and weirdest rituals of Indian society.
Kanyadaan literally means ‘giving away your daughter in charity’. Hindu marriages are not complete without performing this ritual when a father gives away his daughter to the groom or the ‘supposed Lord Vishnu’ in the name of charity.
2. Animal sacrifice
Animal sacrifice in the name of God is made innumerable times throughout India. The meat of the sacrificed animal is cooked and fed to the people as prasaad at most places and is said to be a form of God’s blessings.
3. Arranged marriages
They say marriages are made in heaven, but in India, marriages are made at homes through local gossip. Arranged marriages still stand as the major form of marriage in India. The parents of the girl or the boy decide the soulmate of their children.
Dowry is yet another ritual attached to Indian weddings. As per this ritual, the family of the bride is supposed to give gifts and even cash to the groom and the in-laws as a token of their gratitude towards the latter for accepting their daughter.
5. Baby dropping
The baby dropping ritual is mostly prevalent in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra. People, in their desire to be blessed with children, participate in this ritual wherein 1- and 2-year-old babies are dropped from a 50 feet tall tower with people standing below to catch them.
6. Mass mourning
Mass mournings take place on the 10th day of Muharram. The Muslims of the Shia sect gather to mourn the martyrdom of Hussein Ibn Ali. While mourning they beat themselves to an extent that a sort of bloodbath can be witnessed amidst the crowd.
7. Aghori practices
Aghori sadhus reside mostly in Banaras. They are clad in ash that is left after the cremation of humans. These sadhus eat meat and intake cannabis in order to reach a state of trance and feel closer to the divine.
8. Kaala jaadu
India is abundant in superstitious practices and black magic is a major component of the same. Black magic is performed at various places in India with an orthodox belief that it will help people get rid of their problems.
9. Fire walking
Walking over a spread of burning coal is a practice that takes place in Tamil Nadu. This ritual is a part of a festival; it is believed to wash out all the sins and impurities of a person just as it did for Draupadi, one of the main characters of the legend of ‘Mahabharata’.
10. Body piercing
This is yet another strange ritual which takes place in Tamil Nadu. People pierce their bodies in every way possible and even lift and drag huge weights with the help of the same. The pierced part does not give any pain at all to the bearer which is supposed to be a miracle of God.
11. Frog weddings
As strange as it sounds, frog weddings are quite common in Maharashtra and Assam. People get 2 frogs of different sex to be married to each other. This ritual is said to bring rains to the drought ridden areas of these states.
12. Cow worship
On one hand, people perform animal sacrifice in large numbers and on the other, they worship cows as their mothers and see it as a symbol of the goddess of prosperity. The cow is said to be sacred to Hindus and is therefore a figure of worship especially during Govardhan Puja.
13. Breaking coconuts
Tamil Nadu has another interesting ritual attached to its roots. People smash coconuts on their heads. The ritual is quite recent with its roots in the British history in India. This was originally a part of the protest against the British, who wanted to destroy a temple to build rail transport in the region.
14. Marrying animals and plants
Yes, in India, getting married to animals or plants is not a strange thing. People get married to dogs and various trees to get rid of the negative attributes present in their character and destiny.
15. Celebrating menstruation
Ambubachi Mela celebrates menstruation at the Kamakhaya Temple in Guwahati. Goddess Kamakhaya, being a Shakti Peeth of Goddess Sati, is said to be on her menstrual cycle in the month of June and this is when people of this area celebrate a woman’s puberty with great vigor.