Discovering more information about the traditions and habits of people from around the world is one of the most interesting things that can enrich our knowledge. It also helps us to easily adapt ourselves to the new life in other countries when we decide to travel to them. There are countless traditions and customs that vary from one country to another even when we talk about the same occasions or celebrations. Some of these traditions and customs are considered to be normal even if we do not have them in our countries, while there are others which are extremely weird and this may make us get astonished. Reading more about these strange things is really entertaining and useful at the same time, this is why we present to you the following top 15 strangest traditions and customs people have in different countries around the world.
♦ Spanking women on Easter Monday in Czech Republic
Men spend their time on this day in a strange way as they visit their female friends and relatives to spank them instead of celebrating this day with them. They use special braided whips which are made from willow rods to spank women, it really hurts! Women are spanked on that day because it is believed that fertility and vitality will flow to them from the willow branches. “The willow tree is the 1st tree to appear in spring and this is why its branches are used for spanking women”.
♦ Greeting single magpies in the United Kingdom
Single magpies are greeted by many people who live in different areas in the United Kingdom through saying “Good morning Mr Magpie, and how is your lady wife today?” Single magpies are believed to bring bad fortune and greeting them is considered to be a necessity for many people in the United Kingdom to avoid bad luck.
♦ Congratulating the whole family on a person’s birthday in Netherlands
Instead of congratulating only one person on his birthday, the whole family are congratulated on this birthday as if the entire family were born on the same day. All of those who attend the birthday party sit in a large circle to enjoy drinking tea and eating the cake.
♦ Clapping while landing in Poland
When a plane lands in Poland, all the Polish people on it start clapping as if they succeeded in achieving something important or do not believe that the plane could land. Nobody really knows why the Polish people do this when they are on a plane.
♦ Sitting with the whole family before trips in Russia
Before going on a trip and before leaving home to start a journey, whether it is alone or with the whole family, the entire family in Russia usually sit down for a few minutes. It is believed that it helps the family to avoid bad luck during the journey.
♦ Waiting for the groundhog to predict the length of winter in the United States
The Groundhog Day is celebrated every year on February 2 by those people who live in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and celebrating this day dates back to 1886. People wait on this day for a groundhog, which is called Punxsutawney Phil, to leave its burrow. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow because it is sunny, it will return back to its burrow and winter will last for 6 more weeks. If the groundhog does not see its shadow because it is cloudy, spring will come early.
♦ Lighting bonfires for avoiding bad luck in Estonia
During midsummer, people start lighting bonfires and jump over them to avoid bad luck and ensure prosperity. The funniest thing is that couples make use of this chance to go to forests and disappear in them to enjoy their time with each other while being alone.
♦ Celebrating the Queen’s birthday in strange months in Australia
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, however her birthday is celebrated in different months in Australia. The Queen’s birthday is celebrated in Australia in June, September and sometimes in October with other public holidays.
♦ Playing Fingerhakeln in Austria
Fingerhakeln is one of the strangest sports that you may ever see in your life. It may be first thought to be easy, but in fact it is not true. The sport is played in Austria as a serious sport like other sports that we know and it also has its strict rules that should be followed. The sport is chiefly based on using your strong finger to pull your opponent’s finger across the small table on which you play.
♦ Covering single people in cinnamon and pepper in Denmark
Being single in Denmark is not easy at all. If you are 25 years old and still unmarried, your friends will throw cinnamon at you. Do you feel that it is too bad? You have to prepare yourself for what is worse. If you are 30 years old and still unmarried, your friends will throw pepper at you. Can you escape from this?
♦ Presenting strange hats to the unmarried women in France
St Catherine’s Day is celebrated on November 25 in France every year and on this day all the unmarried women “Catherinettes” who are 25 years old get funny hats which are green and yellow from their friends. The strangest thing is that those single women must wear these boring hats throughout the day.
♦ Hanging garlands of socks for the unmarried people in Germany
Those people who are 25 years old and are still unmarried in Germany get a garland of socks at their birthday parties from their friends and the garland is hung from the home to the birthday venue. You will be asked on that day to have an alcoholic drink every few socks. If you are 30 years old and still unmarried, you will be punished on your birthday as you will be asked to clean your friends’ doorknobs using toothbrushes if you are a female, but if you are a male, you will sweep the stairs of a public place.
♦ Do not wish a happy birthday before the birthday in Germany
Do not try to wish a happy birthday, present a gift or even a card before someone’s birthday in Germany. This is believed to bring bad luck to the one who is going to celebrate his birthday.
♦ The sport of carrying wives in Finland
Sonkajärvi is widely renowned for the sport of carrying wives. People come from around the world every year to take part in the wife carrying championship and enjoy their time playing this sport while carrying their wives. The first Wife Carrying World Championship was in 1994. Boot throwing is also another weird sport that you can play in Finland.
♦ Pushing the face into the birthday cake in Mexico
It is one of the strangest birthday traditions that you can ever find in any country. It can make anyone get angry, but in fact it is funny. After finishing singing Happy Birthday at your birthday party and after eating a piece of your birthday cake, prepare yourself for getting your face pushed in your mouth-watering birthday cake.