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Strange Customs & Rituals from Around the World. #1 Human Sacrifice (Mayan and Atzecs , abroad ). Human sacrifice is the act of killing a human being for the purposes of making an offering to a deity or other, normally supernatural, power. It was practiced in many ancient cultures.

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1 human sacrifice mayan and atzecs abroad
#1 Human Sacrifice(Mayan and Atzecs, abroad)
  • Human sacrifice is the act of killing a human being for the purposes of making an offering to a deity or other, normally supernatural, power.
  • It was practiced in many ancient cultures.
  • The practice has varied between different cultures, with some like the Mayans and Aztecs being notorious for their ritual killings, while others have looked down on the practice as primitive.
  • Victims were ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease gods or spirits.
  • Victims ranged from prisoners to infants to Vestal Virgins, who suffered such fates as burning, beheading and being buried alive.
  • Over time human sacrifice has become less common around the world, and sacrifices are now very rare. Most religions condemn the practice and present-day laws generally treat it as a criminal matter. Nonetheless it is still occasionally seen today, especially in the least developed areas of the world where traditional beliefs persist.
2 foot binding china
#2 Foot Binding(China)
  • Foot binding was a custom practiced on young females for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century.
  • In Chinese foot binding, young girls’ feet, usually at age 6 but often earlier, were wrapped in tight bandages so that they could not grow and develop normally; they would, instead, break and become highly deformed, not growing past 4-6 inches (10-15 cm).
  • Today, it is a prominent cause of disability among some elderly Chinese women.
  • First, each foot would be soaked in a warm mixture of herbs and animal blood. This concoction caused any necrotized flesh to fall off. Then her toenails were cut back as far as possible to prevent in growth and subsequent infections. To prepare her for what was to come next the girl’s feet were delicately massaged. Silk or cotton bandages, ten feet long and two inches wide, were prepared by soaking in the same blood and herb mix as before. Each of the toes were then broken and wrapped in the wet bandages, which would constrict when drying, and pulled tightly downwards toward the heel. There may have been deep cuts made in the sole to facilitate this.
3 shinto naked festival japan
#3 Shinto Naked Festival(Japan)
  • Since 767 AD, every year across Japan, over 9,000 men participate in the annual Shinto Naked Festival, also known as Hadaka Matsuri.
  • A highlight of the festival is the Shio-fumi ritual in which heavy Shinto shrines are carried by dozens of semi-naked men dressed in loin cloths (fundoshi) through the streets of their town. One man is chosen as the Shin-otokoa, or Naked Man, who must shave all body hair and run through the streets unclothed while being pursued by thousands of male festival goers trying to touch him for good luck and prosperity. Although it is a high honor to be named Naked Man, it can also be extremely dangerous, as devotees overcome with excitement, emotion, and copious amounts of sake have been known to shove, kick, and seriously injure the chosen one in the competitive scramble to touch him.
  • In general, the participants are men, but in recent years, women have also participated. The festival is popular both with Japanese and foreign tourists, and individual towns often host family activities as well as the traditional macho entertainment: food stalls, games, and kiosks that sell festival souvenirs are the most popular.
4 sky burial tibet
#4 Sky Burial(Tibet)
  • Sky burial or ritual dissection was once a common practice in Tibet. A human corpse is cut into small pieces and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements and animals – especially to birds of prey. In one account, the leading monk cut off the limbs and hacked the body to pieces, handing each part to his assistants, who used rocks to pound the flesh and bones together to a pulp, which they mixed with tsampa (barley flour with tea and yak butter or milk) before the vultures were summoned to eat.
  • In several accounts, the flesh was stripped from the bones and given to vultures without further preparation; the bones then were broken up with sledgehammers, and usually mixed with tsampa before being given to the vultures. In another account, vultures were given the whole body. When only the bones remained, they were broken up with mallets, ground with tsampa, and given to crows and hawks that had waited until the vultures had departed.
  • The Communist government of China outlawed it in the 1960s so it was nearly a lost tradition, but they legalized it again in the 1980s.