1) Denmark – Cinnamon for Singles
Denmark has the very odd tradition of throwing cinnamon on single people who are 25-29 years old. The ritual can last all day long. Singles who are 30 years or older get doused with pepper.
2) Estonia – Ferns and True Love
During midsummer in Estonia, couples go on daytime forest excursions to “find ferns,” which is really just a cover for spending time together. This ritual is often completed with the couple jumping over a bonfire at the end of the day.
3) India – Baby Tossing
The people of Solapur, India have an annual baby tossing event. Participants toss babies from a 15-meter high tower into the crowds below who catch the babies in sheet nets.
4) Spain – Baby Jumping
Spain has the odd tradition called “El Colacho,” which translates into “baby jumping.” It started in 1620 as a ritual to ward off demons. People dressed in devil costumes leap over mattresses with real sleeping children on them and spectators crowd the streets to watch the event.
5) UK – Salute the Birds
In the UK, there is a nursery rhyme that declares it unlucky for a person to see a single magpie. If you ever see a single magpie, you are supposed to tell the single magpie, “Good morning Mr. Magpie, and how is your lady wife today?” If you do this, the magpie’s bad luck will not affect you.
6) Scotland – Bride Hazing
Scotland has a strange premarital ritual called “blackening the bride.” In this ritual, friends and family haze the bride with gross substances like sour milk, eggs, and feathers. This ritual is supposed to prepare the bride for her marriage by putting marriage problems in perspective. No matter what problems she’ll encounter in her marriage, they will not be as disgusting as the hazing ritual.
7) Austria – Finger Pulling
Austria has this odd sport of competitive finger pulling. This pastime involves two rivals who try to drag each other across a table using just one finger.
8) UK – Cheese Racing
The region of Gloucester is famous for its 200 year old tradition of cheese rolling. The event occurs on the last Monday in May where contestants stand on a hilltop then race a huge Double Gloucester cheese down the hill. The cheese sometimes travels as fast as 100 kph or more and often wins the race.
9) Thailand – Monkey Fest
In Lop Buri, Thailand, people host an annual Monkey Buffet Festival. It is to honor the stray macaque monkeys that inhabit the town. The festival started as a way to attract tourists.
10) China — Bride Over Coals
China has a newlywed ritual where the husband carries his wife over a pan of hot coals before carrying her inside their house. The hot coals symbolize childbirth pains, so the ritual is supposed to give the wife a smooth labor when she delivers children.