India is a country with a variety of customs and festivals. It is because there are many religions followed in India and everyone has equal power under the Indian Constitution. So every religion can follow their festival and rituals as per their holy book. But some of the festivals and rituals are very dangerous in nature. Some of the rituals are very funny and unbelievable. Here are some of the unusual rituals and festivals of India:
Bani festival in Andhra
This festival takes place in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Devaragattu temple is the venue for Bani festival. On the night of Dussehra, people from Andhra, Telangana, and Karnataka gather there to participate in the festival. People will have Lathi or hard stick and they hit each other on their head in the midnight. They hit very hard and most of them will be drenched in blood and sometimes this will continue till men fall unconscious. They do this to depict the act of killing the demon by Lord Shiva. Such an unusual rituals and festivals of India is happening for more than 100 years now.
Photo by TigerPuppala
It is one of the main festivals among the Hindus. Nag Panchami means the Festival of Snake. These dangerous venomous reptiles have always been a part of Indian Puranas and myths. Nag Panchami is celebrated in Nepal and India. Nag Panchami comes in the month of Shravan. Without taking Cobra’s venomous tooth people will worship them and they will be fed by devotees with milk. People believe that on Nag Panchami day the snake never bites. This is definitely one of those unusual rituals and festivals of India to watch out for!
Theemithi of Tamil Nadu
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Theemithi means walking on fire and this is one of the unusual rituals and festivals of India celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu. It is a very dangerous ritual wherein the devotees walk over burning charcoal. From Tamil Nadu, now this festival has reached South Africa, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Theemithi is one of the rituals that take place in a 2 and half month festival. It was actually done by Draupathi after the war of Kurukshetra. She proved herself to Pandavas by walking over the fire that she is as fresh as a flower. Now, this has become an offering to God for a special wish.
Dropping kids from Top for the better luck
This is one of the bizarre rituals of some of the Hindu and Muslim communities. There is a Dargah in Sholapur of Maharashtra where the ritual of dropping small kids from around 50-foot height is followed. Men will catch them with help of a sheet. At Sri Santeswar temple of Karnataka also, a similar ritual is followed. It is believed that by doing this, the kid’s future will be bright. The ritual which is one of the most unusual rituals and festivals of India is being followed for over 500 years now.
Photo by beggs
Faith can take you out from the internal darkness. But sometimes it reaches another level and we get confused! Thaipoosam is a festival celebrated by the Tamils across the world on the month of Thai to show their love towards Lord Muruga. Devotees, after the 48-day fasting, on the final day, dance with music and pierce the body and face with ‘Vel’. Some of them hook small ‘Vel’ all over their body. It’s actually very painful but it’s one of the main rituals of this festival.
Photo by Manu Manohar Photography
Jallikattu is one of the unusual rituals and festivals of India that resembles the Spanish Bullfight. But Jalllikattu is more dangerous and rural. It is supposedly more than a century-old ritual. Jallikattu is one sport that takes place during the festival of Pongal which is the most celebrated festival in Tamil Nadu. The wild bulls that are well-fed and exercised are used for Jallikattu so that they can fight with full power. These bulls will be chased by many trained men so that they can grab the prize from the horns of the bull. The bulls will never have issues but usually, the men who indulge into this get injured and some of them even die. The bulls will be taken care of by the trained people. Recently the Supreme Court of India banned it.
People roll over leftover food
Photo by Phaneesh N
India always had the problem of casteism because of discrimination by the upper caste to the lower caste. At present, there is no problem of caste discrimination in India. Most of the people are educated and they don’t believe in this system. But there is a custom in Kukke Subramanya Temple in Karnataka called Madey Snana. Lower caste devotees will rollover the leftover food had by the upper caste devotees. This is done to get rid of sicknesses or illnesses. This was banned in 2010, but again this was brought back after the protest of some tribes. This is one of the most bizarre unusual rituals and festivals of India.
Cannibalism and Necromancy
Photo by DeeMakMak
The Aghori Sadhus of Banaras are the people who follow such a life. It is very easy to recognize these Sadhus because of their dress, matted long hair and body smeared with ash. These Sadhus follow a strange lifestyle and rituals. They eat the body parts of died people after the cremation. They have intercourse with the dead bodies. If you read more about Aghori sadhu’s lifestyle, it will astonish most of us. the Aghoris follow some of the most bizarre and unusual rituals and festivals of India.
Featured Photo by Arian Zwegers