9 unique customs from around the world

  1. Home
  2. potpourri

9 unique customs from around the world

There are many countries in the world and as many traditions and customs too. Every country follows a certain unique custom, which has, some reason attached to it.

It is quite entertaining and pleasing to learn what custom is practiced in which part of the world. Some of the unique customs are listed here.

Teeth Throwing

In most parts of the world it is believed that when a child’s tooth is kept under a pillow, the fairy comes and picks the teeth and exchanges it with some hard cash. But this is not so in Greece. In Greece, the baby’s tooth is tossed in the air towards the roof. While the tooth is thrown onto the roof, a wish is also made that the child may get stronger teeth in future.

Baby Jumping

This is a unique custom followed in Spain. The term is “El Colacho” which means baby jumping. In the communities of Northern Spain, the newborn babies are put on bare land or on a mattress and the men who are dressed like devils jump over them. The audience hovers around along with the parents to watch this custom.

Celebrating Birthday with Socks Garland

In Germany while it is traditional to pour flour on the head of birthday boy or girl on their sixteenth and breaking eggs on their head on their eighteenth birthday. For the twenty fifth birthday of a bachelor boy, the tradition is quite unique. A garland of socks and put it on the neck of the birthday boy and he is taken like this from his home to the birthday party venue.

He is also insisted to have alcoholic beverage on the way. This tradition is a way of confirming his bachelorhood.

Whipping Women On Easter

This is a strange custom followed in Czech Republic. The men beat up the women on this day. The Monday men slightly whip the women with ‘pomlázka’, braided willow branches to infuse them with fertility. This custom is also believed to bring good health and youth to the girls. The girls get whipped on the legs. This custom is quite old and still practiced in some parts of Czech Republic.

Body piercing on Festivals

While celebrating a religious festival known as Thaipusum, people pierce their body parts to show devotion to the Lord Murugan. This tradition is followed in the countries with a high Tamil population including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar. These piercings are quite painful because some of the devotees pierce a substantial portion of their body making the whole tradition a bloody affair.

They even pierce their chest, tongue and face with large spears.

Ant Gloves

Satere-Mawe tribe of the Amazon follows this weird tradition. Young boys follow this ritual when they become sexually mature. The boy cannot become a man unless he follows this tradition.

Under this custom, the boy goes to jungle with a “medicine man” to collect bullet ants. The “medicine man” then intoxicates the ants with some herbs. While the ants sleep, they are transferred to a woven mesh glove. When the ants discover that they are imprisoned, they become furious and violent. The boys then wear those gloves for nearly ten minutes. This is extremely painful ritual practiced there.

No Bathroom for Newly Wed

The newlywed couples are not allowed to use bathroom for three days in Indonesian Tidong Community. This is done with a belief that this will bring good luck to the newlywed couple.

The couples practice this tradition to prevent broken marriage, death of their yet to be born children and betrayal. The couple is kept under strict vigilance. The couple is not even allowed to eat and drink much so that they have a lesser urge to use bathroom.

After the end of the three days, the couple are given a ceremonial bath and then allowed to resume normal life.

Wedding cake on Baby’s Forehead

The Irish couples save some of their wedding cake for their first child’s ceremonial.  The top layer of the cake is offered to the guests. Some of the cake is scattered on the forehead of the newborn.

This tradition is known to bring good luck to the baby. Some Irish couple also save the Wedding Champagne along with the cake. The champagne is also applied on the forehead of the baby.


Sifudu is practiced in African communities. When the baby is three day old, relatives gather the leaves from the Sifudu tree.

A fire is lit and the Sifudu leaves are charred to generate smoke. Then the baby is brought near to the fire with his head downward and is circulated through the pungent smoke many times. This ritual is practiced so that the child never encounters fear or shyness all his life.