Rituals are always part of culture. While some find it funny or scary, for some, these rituals serve a purpose. However modern the world has become, some rituals that are still being practiced in various parts of the world will make your jaw drop.

Let us have a look at some of the bizarre rituals that are still prevalent in the world:

Baby Tossing

In a horrifying ritual practiced in Karnataka, toddlers between 3 months to 2 years of age are thrown from the rooftop of a temple onto a blanket held by a group of men below. The annual ritual is believed to bring good luck, health and prosperity to the children.

Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercing.Reuters

Imagine your tongue being pierced with sharp objects; in a strange ritual in India, sharp needles made from wood or steel are pierced through the tongue, which is believed to purify the soul of a person. It is prevalent in Nepal also.

Eskimos- Putting Elderly out to Die in the Ice.

Putting elderly out to die in the ice is still prevalent among modern Eskimos. The Eskimos during their old age are taken to the sea and left on a sheet of floating ice to die. They will freeze or starve to death alone on the iceberg.

Rolling on Food

Certain temples in Karnataka still have the century old ritual 'Madey Snana,' in which low caste Hindus roll their bodies on the food discarded by people of higher caste. This act, practiced by all castes other than Brahmin, is said to cure skin disease.

Land Diving

Land diving.Creative Commons/Paul Stein

In another bizarre ritual, men from Vanuatu, southern part of Pentecost Island, would jump from a wooden tower of around 20-30 metres tall for good harvest, which is practised without any safety measures. The festival is associated with the yam harvest and is performed annually in the months of April, May and June. The people believe that their harvest would be more bountiful if they jump higher.


In this ritual, domestic animals are slaughtered and their blood is offered to gods to pacify evil spirits. It is practised among the Hindu communities of India, Nepal and Indonesia. Cockfight, where a rooster is used to fight against another rooster, is also considered as a kind of bali. The world's biggest animal sacrifice occurs in Nepal every five years, in which more than 2,50,000 animals are sacrificed as a part of a festival.

Baby Jumping

Baby jumping.
Man dressed as devil jumps on babies.Reuters

In a ritual practised in Spain, a man dressed as a devil, jumps on babies below one year of age, lying on the mattresses in the street. This annual ritual takes place during the celebration of Spanish catholic feast Corpus Christi and is done to purify the soul of the toddlers from evil spirit.



This ritual, also called Theemithi, is practised in South India and Singapore, where people walk barefoot across a pit containing burning hot firewood or hot charcoal. It is done in honour of goddess Draupadi.

Self flagellation.Reuters

Self Flagellation

In this strange ritual, Shia Muslims flog their naked bodies with a bunch of chains known as Matam. Sometimes, these Matams also contain knives and razor blades. It seems that this is conducted to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and is being performed in countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Kanamara Matsuri

Kanamara festival.Reuters

In a unique Japanese ritual, Kanamara Matsuri, also known as the penis festival, a giant wooden penis is being paraded across the town to ensure fertility for everyone. it is conducted during the spring season in Kanayama Shrine.Though the exact dates vary, the main festival falls on the first Sunday of April.