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10 Horrifying Traditions That Still Exist Around The World

10 Horrifying Traditions That Still Exist Around The World

The world is a weird, weird place. India alone has so many disturbing conventions and ceremonies but the question is, how scary can it get? This article contains extremely graphic content so please read ahead with caution.

Heads Or Tails?

A Muslim shrine in Maharashtra, India practices baby tossing for good luck. It involves tossing newborn babies off the edge of a 15-meter high wall of shrine onto an extended sheet held by men standing on the ground. Even though no serious injuries have been reported resulting from this practice, people are still fighting to get it banned in India.

Take The Pain Away

Extreme cheek piercing at the Phuket Vegetarian festival in Thailand is one of the most painful traditions still in existence. It is said that it helps them obtain good health and peace of mind. The festival celebrates the abstinence from meat-based products during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Masongs are the people who send the invitation to God to possess their bodies. The tradition is rumoured to be an adaptation of Thaipusam, an Indian festival. The belief is that since they are possessed they will not feel the pain of piercing their cheeks with serrated metal bars.


The Japanese Shinto Buddhist practice of firewalking is called 'Hiwatari Shinji'. It is celebrated in Akibasan Entsu-Ji shrine on the second Sunday of every December. A qualified priest of the Entsu-Ji will walk over flaming embers. It is a common belief that this ritual provides a spiritual cleanse and psychological clarity. The followers can also participate in the ritual once the priest has completed his walk.

Don't Let Go

On an Indonesian island called Sulawesi, the corpse of the dead resides with the family. They consider that the life of the person can be prolonged by keeping them with the living and is comparable to living with a sick person.

The financial conditions of the family determine the period of the stay for the dead; it is usually between several weeks to years. When they finally bury the bodies, a buffalo has to be sacrificed as according to their ancestors, buffalo is the vehicle to the afterlife.

Wedding Bondage

Weddings in the Indonesian Tidong community have some pretty “unique” traditions. An adorable one is that groom has to sing a love song to be able to see his bride's face. On the bizarre side, the newlyweds are not permitted to use the bathroom for three-days and nights and also ingest a restricted diet after their wedding. This is done to avoid bad luck, unhappy marriage, infidelity, and death of their firstborn.

The Dead Leave With The Fingers Of Living

The Dani people of Papua, Indonesia follow a strange funeral ritual. The living amputates their fingers to show love for the dead. The fingers are buried in the ground along with their loved ones. They believe it to be the best way to show grief and let the dead know their influence on the living. Naturally, because of the associated health risks, this practice is dying.


Cannibalism is something humans just can't seem to get rid of. The criminalization of the act seemingly isn't enough to stop people from doing it. The Korowai Tribe of New Guinea, Indonesia eats the body of their healer on their death. Also, The Yanomami Tribe of Amazon participates in cannibalism. They prepare a mixture of the bone dust of the dead and consume it in a banana soup after 45 days. And exactly after a year, they will consume the ashes left behind after cremation. The cannibal monks of Varanasi, India called Aghoris are also believed to consume remains of the dead.

Blood Fiestas

Yes, Blood Fiesta is still a thing even after thousands of petitions, rallies, court cases, and campaigns. Blood Fiestas are celebrations that are dedicated to killing and torture. The practice including but not limited to chasing Bulls and then stabbing them to death with sharp objects. It might also include the act of pouring hot wax over the injured animal. Roughly there are between 10,000 to 15,000 blood fiestas celebrated in Spain each year. It is also celebrated in Brazil, Mexico, and Portugal.

Severing The Tongue

In this ancient Asian tradition, the teenage girls are dressed up in beautiful outfits. The day marks the transition of the girl into womanhood and prepares her to be a good wife. Her tip of the tongue is cut off to ensure a happy marriage in the future.

Cobra Gold

'Cobra Gold' is like annual adult day camp. There are around 13,000 military members from Thailand, United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. The goal is to prepare soldiers to survive the wilderness. Few of the strange exercises performed by these men are hunting a Cobra and then drinking its blood, learning to bite the head off of chicken using only your teeth and eating scorpions.

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