Ancient traditions, regardless of their origins, continue to exist in our time. They are harmless and strange, funny and creepy. All of them cause a different reaction to us, but curiosity takes over. And if you are also interested, like me to study the traditions of various nations. Let's get started!
The first and most important tradition for residents of America and Canada is the tradition of celebrating Groundhog Day. The fact is that February 2 is a turning point of the end of winter and the beginning of spring. And it is on this day that Americans and Canadians put aside all their stuff and go to the country. They are interested in one wild animal - the groundhog. You need to watch the groundhog. If the weather is sunny on February 2, then the groundhog, leaving the mink, can see its shadow and get scared. This means that winter will drag on for another six weeks. But if the weather is cloudy, the meteorologist will not notice his shadow and leave the hole, then the onset of spring will not take long. This is how a small animal predicts the weather forecast.
Do you need a hat?
Autumn has come and November 25th is approaching. On this ordinary day for us, France celebrates St. Catherine's Day. This tradition has its roots in the Middle Ages. If a girl was already 25 years old, but she was not yet married, she was considered either cursed or miserable. Then such a poor thing had only one thing left - to pray St. Catherine for the bridegroom. In addition to the prayer that day, she had to dress up in the most beautiful dress and walk along the main streets of the city hoping that the young men would pay attention. So today young French girls attract the attention of expected grooms by putting on extravagant hats of various colors.
In India, there are so many interesting and even shocking traditions. One of them is for those who have a tough head. The fact is that you will have to break the coconut with your head. In this way, the people of India express gratitude to the Gods and ask for health, “as solid as a coconut.”
But this tradition, unlike the previous one, is more frightening. Being afraid that they will not be taken over by an evil spirit and to have good fortunes in everything, are capable of much. For example, residents of Karnataka state in India, according to an ancient tradition, throw babies from a twenty-foot tower. Children, of course, remain safe and sound. A large sheet is being pulled by residents while the priest throws the children down.
A truly creepy tradition. The inhabitants of South America, the Yanomami tribe, eat their deceased relatives. 45 days after death, they grind the remains, mix them with banana soup and eat. And all this to ensure that the deceased remained forever with his loved ones.
We’re moving to Indonesia, to Papua, Dani’s tribe. In this tribe, according to ancient traditions, at the funeral of the husband, the wife gets her finger amputated to the first phalanx. This is done to appease the spirits who accept the soul of the deceased. His wife should feel her inner sorrow through physical pain. The finger is chosen by the head priest. It is tied with a rope so that it gets numb and then amputated. The place of amputation is burned with fire to avoid infection. That’s all - the spirits are happy and the husband is in paradise.
Life with the dead
Let's talk a little more about the deceased. In same Indonesia, but on its other end, where a more civilized society lives, as a tradition annually dig up the bodies of their deceased relatives from the graves. They dress them in new clothes, walk with them along the street, and clean their coffins. They dig even those who died decades ago. After walking and cleaning, the departed go to their lair until next year. This tradition means that they are still with us and pleased. So everyone is happy.