If thou be'st born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights, Till age snow white hairs on thee, Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me, All strange wonders that befell thee, And swear, No where Lives a woman true, and fair.
If thou find'st one, let me know, Such a pilgrimage were sweet; Yet do not, I would not go, Though at next door we might meet; Though she were true, when you met her, And last, till you write your letter, Yet she Will be False, ere I come, to two, or three.
- John Donne
Throughout time, rituals and traditions have continued to be a part of everyday life. Whether it is something that is completetly cut throat or just too strange to even understand, these rituals continue to shock us all. Well, what makes these rituals so interesting is the bizareness behind them. So if one’s eyes are ready to see graphic but shocking images of these rituals it is advised to start scrolling away. Remember these rituals and traditions have been around for decades, so don’t act too surprised when seeing how intense the world can really be.
The Kanigara people of Papa New Guinea perform a rite of passage that looks beyond painful and inhumane. In order to scarify the bodies of the males, they take sharpened bamboo and carve crocodile patterns into the skin of the young men. This ritual is completed as a way to signify these young men leaving their mothers and becoming true men. When a man does not have scars on his back it shows that he is too young to leave his mother. If a man has scars on his back, then it shows that he is strong and one of masculinity.
In Murcia, Spain the festival known as “El Colacho,” takes place once a year. As a blend of Catholic and pagan rituals, devils run wild throughout the streets while whipping and insulting villagers. Once the flight of the devil begins, which is the second part of the ritual, newborns are laid on mattresses in the middle of the street. It said that when the devil jumps over the children it absorbs sins, misfortune, and disease. After the jump is complete, the babies are showered in rose petals and then taken back by their parents.
What is pictured here is exactly what we would think it would be. In Sagada, Philippines coffins hang on the side of a cliff with the dead remains of elders. There are multiple reasons why people believe this tradition began. One is that it would bring the corpses closers to heaven.
Now, this is a real version of an actual bloody mary. Check out this Ethiopian man who is apart of the Suri tribe, drinking the blood of a cattle. Pretty gross, right? Well, this tradition started way back. It is believed that before the battles occur in the Donga festival, men who drink the cattle blood in one slur, will become stronger for the fight ahead of them.
Food fight!!! Just when we thought that food fights were unplanned and very uncalled for, this Valencian town of Bunol knows how to really start a riot. This ritual is known as La Tomatina a festival where people all the world join together to harmlessly throw over-ripe tomatoes at one another. The reasoning being for pure entertainment.
Cleansing The Body
In America we hear about all these juice cleanses and diets that people go on to release toxins from the body. Well, for this group of men they take on a different kind of cleanse. They shove sharpened sticks down their throats to purge. Later taking the sticks and shoving it up their nostrils and into their tounges until the blood is purified.
A Festival Of Protection
The Festival of the Steel Phallus also known as Kanamara Matsuri is located in Kawasaki, Japan. Long ago, a legend holds that an iron phallus broke the demon’s teeth. Ever since then, people have come from all over to party and shrine the iron phallus in hopes of preventing disease. Due to the popularity of the Shino tradition, all proceeds are donated directly to HIV research.
What is going on in this images, is exactly what it seems to be. This man is being attached to a cactus. Ouch, right? Well, it is all because of the Holy Week procession, that is celebrated on Good Friday. This is when hundreds of men walk to find forgiveness through the pain.
Melasti is a festival of purification, which is held before the day of silence. This day of silence prevets Hindus on the island of Bali from driving, working, traveling, etc. This holiday marks the Hindu year. Featured in this image, a Balinese man is placing daggers into his face during the Melasti ceremony.
A Time Of Mourning
The Mourning of Muharram is a commemoration that falls on the first month of the Islamic calendar. Most people who participate in the set of rituals are Shila Muslims. When the remembrance is taking place, the Shia population carries out multiple observances with respect to Hussein Ibn Ali. All marking the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala when the grandson of Muhammad was killed.
If one was to go to Kabul, Afghanistan during the time of mourning, they would see exactly this. Check out these Afghan Shia Muslims that are mourning the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali. While doing so, they strike themselves with knives until they turn bloody. It is indeed an interesting way to mourn the life of the fallen.
After Death Dance Party
This tradition is known to be the turning of the bodies or Famadihana is one that is celebrated every few years. Basically, people carry around bodies wrapped in sheets. Several people will actually open family members’ crypts and take bodies from them. After, they wrap them in fresh cloth and dance around the tomb to live music.