10 Unique Customs From Around the World That People Are Proud to Still Practice

year ago

Traditions create a sense of belonging and are a great reason to bring us a bit closer to our friends, family, and the entire community we live in. Maybe that’s why people still practice them, no matter how old or outdated they seem to communities far away from them. Also, learning about traditions keep us closer and more engaged with our past. And keeping close to our past helps us move toward the future and form our own personality and sense of identity.

1. In Greece, parents throw their kids’ baby teeth on the roof.

In the US, little kids keep their teeth under their pillows until the tooth fairy comes to pick them up, but in Greece, they do it differently. When a child’s baby teeth have fallen out, they take each tooth along with their parent and throw them on the roof of their house. As the child is throwing the tooth, they are also making a wish about the future. It is also believed that the teeth will bring good luck to the entire household.

2. In Indonesia, married couples have to follow strict rules.

In the Tidong community in Indonesia, married couples are prohibited from using the toilet for 3 whole days after they get married. Holding it for this long is believed to bring luck to the couple who will be able to hold their happiness for many years to come. On the other hand, if they break this rule, it is believed that their luck will be short-lived.

During these 3 days, other people are responsible for watching them over, so they don’t cheat. They give them small amounts of food and water, so their need to go to the toilet doesn’t arise. They also have to make sure that the couple won’t relieve themselves secretly.

3. In Denmark, they shower single people with cinnamon.

Turning 25 while in Denmark and still single and unmarried can be a very unpleasant moment for people. That’s because their friends might decide to shower them with water and then start throwing cinnamon on them. The water helps the cinnamon to stick better, and while this looks like a punishment to single people, it is actually a funny way for others to mess with their friends.

The tradition started hundreds of years ago when spice salesmen would travel around the country to sell their products and weren’t able to marry early in their lives. Nowadays in Denmark, the average age of marriage is 34, but the custom is still followed by some just for fun.

4. In the Philippines, people bow down to the elderly.

This tradition is called “Mano” or “Pagmamano,” and it is passed down from one generation to another. When a younger person greets an older person, they bow down in front of them, take their hand, and put it on their forehead. During this greeting, the younger person usually asks for the older person’s blessing. However, the tradition isn’t used by everyone, and it depends on if someone was taught to perform this gesture while growing up.

5. In Thailand, they lay out a buffet for monkeys.

Every year, on the last Sunday of November, people create a rich buffet that only the thousands of macaques in the area can enjoy. The ceremony starts with performances by people dressed in monkey costumes, and then the monkeys are brought in. There are a variety of fruits and vegetables on tables, and the animals are free to eat whatever they want.

People in Thailand have great respect for monkeys, and they believe that the animals bring them good luck. The origin of the big love and respect for monkeys goes back 2,000 years.

6. In Germany, they break things in front of the bride-to-be’s mother’s house.

About a week before a couple is married, friends, family, and pretty much anyone can show up at the bride’s parents’ house and start throwing things. People usually throw stuff that they don’t need anymore, including plates and other porcelain or ceramic items. However, it is not acceptable to throw glass or mirrors since they are believed to bring bad luck.

After this part is over, the soon-to-be-married couple has to sweep all the shards away together. It’s important that they do the cleaning together as a sign that for the rest of their lives, they will have to face and solve problems together.

7. In Bosnia, they celebrate the start of spring with scrambled eggs.

In order to celebrate Spring, people from Zenica gather at the Bosna River and create big bonfires. On these fires, they put massive cast iron pans where they cook scrambled eggs. Hundreds of eggs are used so that there is enough food to feed all the people that attend the festival. The whole procedure starts at dawn, and the eggs symbolize new life since the coming of spring brings warmer weather.

8. In Gloucestershire, people roll cheese down a hill.

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Roll is a very popular competition that happens early in Gloucester. A round Double Gloucester cheese roll is used and it weighs between 3-4 kilos (6.6-8.8 pounds). The cheese can go as fast as 112 km/h (70 mph) and people have to go down a 200-foot-hill (182 m) in order to win. The person who reaches the end of the hill first wins and also takes the cheese roll with them.

The hill is quite steep — that’s why many people fall and some of them have even broken their arms. The competition is believed to have first started at least 600 years ago, but the first written evidence of it is from 1826.

9. In Canada, they have a hair freezing competition.

The Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs Hair Freezing Contest is an annual event where anyone can participate. The outside temperature in the area reaches −20oC (-4oF), but the contestants are inside the hot springs. The first step is to dip your head inside the hot water and make sure your hair is all nice and wet. Then, you keep your head outside the water until all your facial hair, including your eyebrows and beard, freezes.

It is advised to keep your ears warm by dipping them in the hot water periodically. Once your hair has completely frozen, you can ring the bell that is located right next to the pool, and the staff will approach to take your photo.

10. In Mexico, they push the birthday person’s face into their cake.

The tradition says that the birthday person has their hands tied behind their back and those around them shove their face in their cake. This is so that the birthday person has the first bite while those around them chant “Mordida! Mordida! Mordida!” which means “Take a bite.” Even Salma Hayek took part in this tradition back in 2021 while filming the movie Eternals. She asked her co-star, Angelina Jolie, to shove her face into her birthday cake.

What unique traditions do you have in your country or city? Does everyone follow it, or is it up to every individual to choose if they want to participate or not?


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