20 Weird Baby Traditions Around The World You Won’t Believe Exist

parents around the world strange traditions

From tossing cheese to celebrating the end of winter with fire, strange traditions can be found all around the world. These customs, passed down through generations, may seem bizarre to outsiders, but for those who partake, they are an essential part of their cultural identity. In this article, we’ll explore some of the weirdest traditions from different parts of the globe, and learn what they mean to the communities that continue to practice them.

1. Baby Jumping in Spain

In the village of Castrillo de Murcia in northern Spain, a bizarre tradition known as “El Colacho” takes place during the annual Corpus Christi festival. The tradition involves grown men dressed in devil costumes jumping over rows of mattresses with babies laid on them. It is believed that the jump cleanses the babies of sin and protects them from evil spirits. The origins of this tradition are unclear, but it is said to date back to the 17th century. While this practice may seem dangerous, it should be noted that the men performing the jumps have been trained to do so safely and the mattresses are placed close to the ground.

2. Pregnant walking on Fire in Bali

In Bali, pregnant women participate in a Hindu festival called “Nyepi.” One of the rituals involves walking on hot coals to prove their strength and devotion to the gods. They believe that this act will help ensure a safe and healthy delivery. While walking on hot coals may seem dangerous, the ritual is performed under the supervision of experienced fire-walking leaders who ensure the safety of the participants.

3. Sleeping with a Knife in Ghana

Some tribes in Ghana believe that sleeping with a knife under the bed of a pregnant woman will protect her and her unborn baby from evil spirits. The knife is believed to have magical powers that can ward off any negative energy. While this belief may seem strange, it should be noted that it is a deeply rooted cultural practice in certain parts of Ghana.

4. Not Celebrating Birth in Nepal

In Nepal, it’s believed that the mother and the baby are impure after birth, so they’re not allowed to leave the house or have visitors for the first few weeks. This tradition is called the “sitting month” or “confinement period,” and it’s believed to protect the mother and the baby from illness and bad luck. While this practice may seem isolating, it is a common cultural practice in Nepal and is seen as a way to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby.

5. Fasting in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, pregnant women often participate in a religious practice of fasting for 180 days, only eating one meal a day. They believe that this will ensure an easy labor and delivery and a healthy baby. However, it should be noted that fasting for such an extended period of time can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby, and medical professionals generally advise against it.

6. Burying the Placenta in New Zealand

Maori tradition in New Zealand dictates that the placenta should be buried in a special place, usually in the ground, to connect the baby to the land and their ancestors. They believe that the placenta is a sacred part of the baby’s body and should be treated with respect. This practice is an important part of Maori culture and is seen as a way to honor the connection between the baby and their cultural heritage.

7. Wearing Amulets in Turkey

Turkish women may wear amulets during pregnancy to ward off evil spirits. The amulet is usually a blue or green bead with an eye symbol, which is believed to have protective powers. While there is no scientific evidence to support this belief, wearing amulets is a common cultural practice in Turkey and many other parts of the world.

8. Naming the Baby in Nigeria

In Nigeria, naming a baby is a significant tradition that involves careful consideration and is steeped in cultural significance. The name given to a child often reflects the family’s history, beliefs, or aspirations for the child’s future. For example, in Yoruba culture, which is prevalent in southwestern Nigeria, the day of the week a baby is born determines their name. Each day has a specific name, and the characteristics associated with that name are believed to influence the child’s personality and destiny. In addition to the day of the week, a child’s name may be influenced by their family’s religion, region, or ethnic group. For instance, Muslim families may choose names from Arabic origin, while Christian families may choose names from English or European origin.

9. Using a Nose Pipe in Bolivia:

The use of a nose pipe during labor in Bolivia is a traditional practice that dates back centuries. It’s believed to have originated from the Aymara people, an indigenous group in Bolivia. The nose pipe, or “chullu,” is made from a hollowed-out quill or bamboo stem and is filled with hot water and aromatic herbs. The steam from the herbs is thought to help relax the mother, relieve pain, and ease the process of childbirth. The herbs used in the nose pipe can vary, but common ones include chamomile, eucalyptus, and mint.

10. Not Letting the Father Near the Baby in Malaysia:

In some Malaysian communities, it’s traditional for the father to be kept away from the baby and the mother for the first few weeks after birth. This is known as “pantang,” and it’s believed to protect the baby from any negative energy or spirits that the father may bring with him. During this time, the mother is cared for by female relatives and is expected to rest and recover from childbirth. The father may only see the baby from a distance and may not touch or hold the baby until the pantang period is over.

11. Using a Baby Carrier in Mongolia:

In Mongolia, baby carriers have been used for centuries and are an essential part of traditional baby care. The most common type of baby carrier is the “khadag,” which is made from colorful silk and has a hood to protect the baby from the sun and wind. The carrier is worn over the mother’s back, and the baby is securely strapped in. The khadag is believed to create a strong bond between mother and baby and is thought to bring good luck and protection to the child.

12. Piercing the Ears in India

Piercing a baby girl’s ears soon after birth is a common tradition in many parts of India. The practice is known as “karnavedha,” and it’s believed to enhance the baby’s beauty and bring good luck. Some families also believe that piercing the ears can help with teething pain and improve the baby’s eyesight. The ceremony is usually performed by a priest or a family member and involves a series of rituals, including the baby’s first haircut and the wearing of a sacred thread.

13. Licking the Baby in Kenya

In some Kenyan tribes, it’s traditional for the mother to lick her newborn baby clean after birth. This practice, known as “omusuo,” is believed to transfer the mother’s protective powers to the baby and strengthen the bond between mother and child. It’s also believed to stimulate the baby’s breathing and digestive system and to prevent infection.

14. Tossing the Baby in Japan

In Japan, some parents participate in a festival called “Shichi-go-san,” which translates to “Seven-Five-Three.” The festival celebrates children who have reached the ages of seven, five, and three, and parents toss their children in the air to ensure their future health and success.

15. Belching the Baby in Guatemala

In Guatemala, it’s believed that burping a baby too hard can cause the soul to escape from the body. So, instead of burping, they “belch” the baby by blowing air into their mouth and nose to encourage them to release gas. This practice is commonly known as “reflujo” or “reventar al bebe” in Guatemala, which translates to “reflux” or “to make the baby burst.” It is considered a gentle and less forceful way of helping babies expel gas and avoid discomfort.

16. Cutting the Baby’s Hair in Korea

In Korea, it’s believed that cutting a baby’s hair at a certain age can help promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss later in life. The age varies depending on the family and the region, but it’s usually around 100 days after birth. This tradition is known as “doljanchi,” and it is celebrated with a special ceremony where the baby’s hair is cut and they are dressed in traditional clothing. The hair is then kept and sometimes used to make a special calligraphy brush or for other ceremonial purposes.

These are just a few of the many strange and fascinating traditions from around the world when it comes to pregnancy, babies, and raising children. While some may seem bizarre to us, they are deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and practices that have been passed down for generations.

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