May 24, 2015 3:14 pm

Top 6 Unique Culture


The beauty of world travel is that you get to experience different cultures and their traditions and customs. Taking yourself away from your own familiar world and seeing something completely alien to you is always an enriching experience and the world is full of unique customs. Here are six of the most unique culture customs that you might come across :

1. The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri

The Festival of Steel Penis is held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan which takes place on the first Sunday of April each year. Japanese people celebrate fertility by holding the giant wooden phallus. They raise that phallus into the air and then march across the town. It is believed that this celebration brings about regenerative abilities on the local crops and also ensures the fertility for everyone. It may appear to be an outlandish display of sexuality in public places, but many would argue that the openness of Kanamara Matsuri is healthy one which celebrated the ability to reproduce. The Kanayama Shrine was popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted infections. The festival started in 1977. It used to be a small festival, but it has become bigger and bigger. Today, the festival has become something of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research. Doesn’t sound bad, does it?


2. Monkey Buffet Festival

Monkey Buffet Festival falls on 25th of November every year in the province Lopburi, Thailand. Well, Monkey Buffet Festival is described as one of the strangest festivals that still exist in the world. This is a fun festival with a difference making Thailand a unique destination for tourists. People set up tables in the downtown area and the load them up with some fruits, flowers, cake and candy. All the monkeys are attracted by this food and hop all over the tables entertaining the views.

Monkeys enjoy eating fruit in front of an ancient temple during the annual "monkey buffet" in Lopburi province, some 150 kms north of Bangkok on November 28, 2010. More than 4,000 kilos of fruits and vegetables were offered to monkeys during the annual festival to help promote tourism in the area.    AFP PHOTO / Pornchai KITTIWONGSAKUL (Photo credit should read PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

3. Baby Jumping

The residents of Spain have been taking part of this unique culture called El Colacho since 1620. El Colacho means baby jumping. The origins of the tradition are unknown but it is said to cleanse the babies of original sin, ensure them safe passage through life and guard against illness and evil spirits. In this festival, infants are laid on the mattresses in the street after the heavy crowds gather to watch. The jumpers wear the traditional costumes to look like the Devils.


4. Bullet Ants Coming of Age Ritual

There are a host of different coming of age rituals from around the world, none more unusual than that endured by young men of the Satere-Mawe tribe in Brazil. This ritual isn’t complicated, but it’s certainly both painful and a real test of character. For 11 hours, the youngsters put their hands in gloves filled with bullet ants – critters with the highest rating on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index as you can get. These ants get their name because their stings feel like you are literally being shot with a bullet, so you can only imagine what it’s like having to endure relentless stings like this for eleven hours. If you endure this, you can truly call yourself a man.

Bullet Ants Coming of Age Ritual

5. Karapan cow

Karapan Cow is a custom race activities cows from Madura, East Java. In cattle karapan activity not only audiences were treated to racing cows and dexterity of the jockey, but before the start, the owners usually do the ritual procession of cows accompanied by musical instruments around the seronen racing, Madura distinctive blend of musical instruments that make this event a more festive. The length of the path traveled cow karapan between 180 to 200 meters, which can be reached within 14 to 18 seconds. Certainly a very fast pace cow – the cow, but shrewdness jockey.


6. Giraffe Women

Women of the Kayan tribes identify themselves by their forms of dress. Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe are well known for wearing neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it. The women wearing these coils are known as “giraffe women” to tourists. Girls first start to wear rings when they are around five years old. Over the years the coil is replaced by a longer one and more turns are added. The weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. The neck itself is not lengthened; the appearance of a stretched neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle. Most of the women wear the rings because they are seen as beautiful and to preserve the tradition.

Giraffe Women