The last post i.e. “Most Weird Traditions round the Globe“,made you aware about the superstitions and strange traditions being carried around the world. In this extension article I am providing you some more bizarre traditions which are being practiced in different countries. Have a look and share your thoughts in the comment box.
Mourning of Muharram
To commemorate the death of Husayn ibn Ali (a grandson of Muhammad), some groups of Shia muslims take to the streets and whip themselves with specially designed chains with razors or knives attached. Other groups slit their heads open with knives (as can be seen in the image above). This awful tradition (called matam) is also practiced by children or forced on them by parents who do the cutting . Matam is mostly found in Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Iraq, and while some Muslims frown upon the practice, many major Muslim leaders endorse it.
Thousands of mourners slit open their heads with swords, big knives and razor blades streaming their blood to signify their grief over the martyrdom of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) – the tragedy which caused the sky to rain blood and the earth to bleed – and thus paid rich homage to Al-Imam Al-Hussein (p) who sacrificed everything in defending Islam which is today under obligation to him.
The Aghoris are members of a Hindu sect who worship Shiva, whom they see as the supreme god. Because they believe that Shiva created everything – they consider nothing to be bad. For this reason they engage in a variety of sexual practices, they drink alcohol, take drugs, and eat meat. Nothing is considered taboo.
But the thing that makes their ancient traditions bizarre is that they are also practicing cannibals and their temples are cremation grounds. An aghori lives in the cremation ground and is able to support himself there – his clothing comes from the dead, his firewood comes from the funeral pyres, and food from the river. When a person is cremated, an aghori will coat himself in the ashes of the body and meditate on the dead.
The most shocking aspect of the Aghori life is their cannibalism. Dead bodies that are found floating in the river are gathered up and meditated on. The limbs are then removed by the Aghori and eaten raw. If you are interested in watching a fascinating documentary on the Aghoris, you can watch an excellent one here in full. A much more in-depth article on the aghoris can be seen here on Cogitz. It also includes a link to a much more gruesome video of the cannibalistic practices.
Feeding The Dead
Fairly recent discoveries in the Vatican of old Roman burial grounds have uncovered a fascinating tradition that was previously forgotten: the Romans would eat with their dead and even feed them. Many of the graves found contained pipes that led from the outside of the grave to the body within – this was used to pour honey, wine, and other foods into the dead. Similar pipes in Roman Graves have also been found in England. Ancient Romans would often picnic at the graves of the dead as they believed they were feeding the soul of their departed loved ones. The inscription on the grave above describes the location of a food shop nearby so mourners and visitors can buy food for themselves or the dead.
Yanomamö Ash Eating
The Yanomamö are a large tribe of people from Venezuela and Brazil. They have been largely untouched by modern life and so retain many of their ancient customs – one of which is the focus of this item. Yanomamö religious tradition forbids the keeping of any part of the body of the dead; for this reason, when a Yanomamö dies, his body is taken to be burned and the bones are crushed and combined with the ashes.
These are then divided amongst the family and eaten. Because absolutely no part of the body must remain, the vessel that contained the ashes is then destroyed. The tribesmen believe that a person dies because a Shaman or member of another tribe has sent evil on him. This leads to much conflict and inter-tribe battles.
The limestone caves surrounding Sagada in the Philippines are home to the region’s dead. While many people are buried in the caves, a long standing tradition in the area also means that the face of the cliffs are dotted with coffins.
The coffins can also be found in other places around the world – particularly China where the nearly extinct Bo People (an indigenous minority Chinese tribe) practice this tradition regularly. The Toraja people (featured in item 9) also sometimes hang coffins of young children – though wealthy adults are normally placed in caves.