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Top 10 Weird Indian Rituals and Festivals

India is a land of some amazing, yet confusing festival celebrations. Every festival here is having its own traditions, which are going on from years. Equality in Diversity completely suits to the Indian culture. Many times Indian’s gives preferences to their heart than mind, when it comes to rituals. Let’s take a look at some weird Indian rituals.

Here are some interesting Indian rituals:

1. Either Kill Or Get Killed – Bani Festival

Image Source : The Hindustan Times
Image Source: The Hindustan Times

Celebrations are the way to depict the human life. Some of the rituals and festivals are so complicated that their concept raises an eyebrow. One of such a festival is Bani, which is celebrated during the Dussehra, at Devaragattu Temple in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Here devotees gather together with lathis to hit each other on the head to celebrate the killing of a demon by Lord Shiva. According to temple priests, this tradition is going on for 100 years. Earlier people used to carry axes and spears, but later, moved on to use lathis for the ritual.

2. The Snake Festival – Nag Panchami

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Image Source:

India shares a very close bond with this species, as can be seen in various documentaries and movies as well. The Snakes are a part of numerous mythology stories and folklore. In this festival, the devotees sprinkle the Haldi-Kumkum on their forehead and feed them with milk. In most of the cases they are venomous, but people have the belief that the Snakes won’t bite them on this day.

3. Walking On Fire – Theemithi

Image source : askarthurpenn
Image source: ask Arthur Penn

It’s a controversial ritual from Tamil Nadu, whose roots have grown from India to Nepal, Srilanka, up to South Africa. This festival is an enactment of Mahabharata, where Draupadi was forced to prove her innocence. To emerge as pure as, Ganga river, she walked on a bed of fire and cut down the stigma thrown on her. The people nowadays follows this ritual, to fulfill their wishes.

4. Tossing Infants From The Roof Top

Image Source : astrospeak
Image Source: Astro speak

This is an unimaginable ritual which is still going on in India, especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka. According to this tradition, the infants are tossed up from a certain height of a religious monument. Both Muslim and Hindu devotees believe in this and it can be seen around, Sri Santeswar temple near India, in the state of Karnataka and Baba Umer Dargah in Sholapur, Maharashtra.

5. Piercing The Body – Thaipoosam

Image Source : lifecrust
Image Source: lift crust

It’s another controversial ritual, which is mostly celebrated in Tamil Nadu. This festival is celebrated by Hindus in Tamil Nadu, to show their devotion towards the birth of lord Murugan. The devotees pierce their body with needles and spikes to depict love and devotion to their god. Some devotees also carry a pole made of bamboo, called as Kavadi, some carry holy water, milk, to ensure that lord Murugan fulfills their wishes.

6. The Raging Bulls – Jallikattu

Image Source : Wikipedia
Image Source: Wikipedia

It reminds all of us, about fierce bull fights which take place in the Spain. The Spanish matador are kind of different form than Jallikattu because there, bulls are killed as compared to here. In Jallikattu the special category of bulls are raised over a period, through some quality of diets and instructions. The Jallikaatu bulls are specially trained for such acts. In this ritual, the horns of bulls are sharpened and some prizes are entangling with them. The people run behind them to collect that prize, which eventually turns out to be a nightmare for them, once the bulls get angry, they thrash them with their sharp horns. About 200 people have died since it came into existence. In 2014, Supreme Court banned the festival, but the case is still going on to restart it.

7. Animal Weddings

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Image Source:

The rain has always been one of the issues around India, over the years, due to its abnormal behavior. The issue of rain has also been depicted in the movies such as Lagaan, Bhopal – A Prayer For Rain. Here, nothing is left to please the god of rain, to have a normal and fruitful rain. In some part of Assam and Maharashtra, the frog weddings are done to please the God Of Rain. Also, in some part of Karnataka, donkeys are married to appease the god for blessings of the shower. These Indian Rituals are followed in a fully traditional way like Indian Wedding, in presence of Priest.

8. Hanging By The Hooks – Garudan Thookam

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Image Source:

It’s another shocking and fascinating festival, celebrated in the Kali temple of Kerala. In this ritual, the dancers dressed up like a Garuda, which is the vehicle of lord Vishnu according to Indian Mythology. They first perform an amazing dance form and later they hang themselves by hooking their flesh on the back. This festival is celebrated on the day of Makara Bharani and Kumbha Bharani.

9. Fire Fighting – Agni Keli

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Image Source: I times

It’s another festival, which raises an eyebrow of social activists every time it goes around. This festival is celebrated in the month of April every year, for eight days, in the Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple, Mangalore. It’s one of the most intriguing and historical traditions. In this ritual, devotees hurl the fire flaming palm fronds towards each other. The devotees who suffer burns due to the blazing fire are sprinkled with kumkumarchana.

10.  Coconut Smashing On The  Head – Aadi

Indian Rituals, festivals, india, rituals
Image Source: The Hans India

This festival is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi. This outrageous yet exciting ritual is the part of Mahalakshmi Temple, Mettu Mahadhanapuram, in the Karur District of Tamil Nadu. The tradition is still going on as villagers have a belief that, it gives luck and good health. It’s one of the very old Indian Rituals, which is followed by British rule. The British Government wanted to build a railway track near the temple surrounding, which got an oppose from the villagers. The thing didn’t stop there, as British Government put forward a condition that if they can survive breaking of a coconut shaped stone on their head, then the direction of the route will be changed. The villagers succeeded in doing that and the route was changed. there is still 187 coconut shaped stone around the temple courtyard.

These are some exciting yet weird Indian Rituals that we have brought forward to you. We hope you enjoyed reading about these Indian rituals. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more such posts and you can also download our app to stay updated: Tell Me Nothing

Iqbal Siddiqui
Iqbal is a finance wizard and a cheerful as well as helpful guy who helps out people with his finance advices. He is also an expert in SEO and other cool stuff like that!

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