India is a country with its own vibrant colors and methods which you will agree are completely divergent from the rest of the world. Most of our beliefs and ideals find a place in the heart of foreigners as they seem unique and interesting to them. Feeding sweet yogurt to people heading out for an examination or taking a dip in the mighty Ganga to rinse one of all sins, Indians have their own superstitious beliefs and ideas which we have inculcated in our daily life without realization. For instance, avoiding the road which was crossed by a black cat or believing that someone misses us as soon as we start hiccupping. But as normal as these might sound to you, they will sound strange to an outsider. Similarly, there are a lot of rituals followed in India that might seem strange to you as well as you might not have heard of them. Here is a list of five traditions and rituals followed in India which I am sure you weren’t aware of –
#1 The Bani Festival – Andhra Pradesh
Imagine being in a large group of people with each armed with a lathi ready to charge your head hoping you will do the same because your ritual demands it. This is what you experience every year at the Bani Festival where a lot of lathi wielded devotees hit each other during Dusshera till midnight to commemorate the defeat of a demon by Lord Shiva.
#2 Tossing of Infants- Karnataka and Maharashtra
You might have heard of this one in the news. So young born kids are thrown off the roof from about a height of 50 feet and caught by people holding sheets below waiting to receive it. This might sound barbaric to you but this practice is followed very diligently regardless of all the criticism it might have received.
#3 Rolling over leftover food – Karnataka
Though caste system might have been removed from this country to quite an extent but in the Kukke Subramaniam Temple a tradition has been going on for centuries where a lower caste has to roll over the leftovers of a Brahmin’s meal to get rid of sins. This tradition is followed by every lower caste in that area to rid himself of his own negative Karma.
#4 Govardhan Puja – Madhya Pradesh
Worshipping cows might seem like a normal thing to everyone in this country, but Bhiwdawad Village in Madhya Pradesh takes it to a new level altogether, where on every Govardhan Puja they decorate the cows and then lay down on the floor and allow the cows to trample over them in hopes that the god might answer their prayers.
#5 Marriage to a tree or animal
This tradition is followed in various parts of the country. Mostly a “Manglik” woman or woman who is believed to have been cursed in her previous life is asked to marry a tree or an animal before getting married to a man. This is believed to rid her of all her sins. The tree she marries is later cut down and burned thus the curse is broken.
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