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Discovering the planet: unusual traditions of different peoples around the world that surprise tourists

Albina PanchenkoNews
Unusual traditions of different peoples

According to various scholarly estimates, there are between 2,000 and 4,000 nationalities in the world. Some of them may have only a few dozen or hundreds of representatives, while others number in the millions. What they all have in common is their own traditions. We have collected the most interesting ones for you. Something will surprise you, something will cause a culture shock, but it will definitely not leave you indifferent.

La Tomatina Festival, Spain

The Spaniards love various holidays and mass celebrations. You've probably seen videos on the Internet where bulls run through the streets or people organize a massive water battle, but that's not what we're talking about today.

La Tomatina Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Spain, where participants frantically throw tomatoes at each other. Every year, about 150,000 tomatoes are used in this event. The event is held in the city of Buñol on the last Wednesday of August. Thousands of people from all over the world gather to take part in the frantic game.

Interestingly, La Tomatina first took place back in 1945 as a spontaneous food fight during a parade. The Spaniards liked the idea of misusing tomatoes so much that they decided to turn it into a tradition. Moreover, they use specially grown tomatoes of a certain variety for the fight. According to the organizers, they want to make sure that everyone has enough "projectiles" to have fun.

Although this holiday looks like barbarism and total madness from the numerous photos on the web, there is a set of rules and recommendations. For example, you should wear glasses to prevent eye injuries, and the vegetable itself should be crushed before throwing it so as not to injure your opponent. Participants will have only an hour to complete the challenge, and throwing tomatoes after the end signal is strictly prohibited.

Discovering the planet: unusual traditions of different peoples around the world that surprise tourists

Dia de los Muertos, Mexico

This is a Mexican celebration designed to honor the memory of deceased relatives and friends. On this day, people create altars with photos and objects belonging to the deceased and organize parades with masks and costumes.

It should be understood that there are several fundamental differences with Halloween, which is popular in the United States and, more recently, in many European countries. Despite its name, the Day of the Dead is celebrated for two days. On the first day, it is customary to honor deceased children and babies, and on the second day - adults. In addition, it is a religious holiday that goes back 3000 years in human history, being one of the oldest traditions that exist today.

This event is also characterized by a rather unusual mood for the European idea of death. The fact is that the Aztecs and Incas did not perceive death as an end point but only as an intermediate stage of life, considering it inevitable. That's why you can hear rhythmic music at festivals and parades, and all the guests have fun. Mexicans believe that on the days when the dead walk among the living, one should not be sad. This is a time for pleasant memories with family.

One of the constant symbols of the holiday is La Calavera Catrina, the prototype of the Aztec goddess of death, Mixtecachihuatl. She was depicted on his canvas by the artist José Guadalupe Posada. Contrary to the stereotypical image of Mexicans, only very rich people used to be able to afford hats. That is why the artist put a hat on the woman as a symbol of the fact that all people are equal before death.

Discovering the planet: unusual traditions of different peoples around the world that surprise tourists

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, England

Imagine a race where you have to not only reach the finish line first but also grab the coveted prize. Now add that the course is a slope and the prize is a huge head of cheese. That's what the annual madness in the UK looks like.

According to a legend, a long time ago, a sacrifice was made to the gods on a hill. Suddenly, the cheese fell off the altar and rolled down. Pilgrims rushed to catch it.

Pilgrims are no longer interested in this sport, but adventurers from all over the world are still attracted to it. And what's more, according to rumors, there is an "athlete" who has won as many as 23 races in 18 years. It remains to be seen how many bones he broke along the way.

The fact is that this type of entertainment is perhaps the most traumatic in England and consistently leads to numerous injuries. If you've ever tried to run downhill, and do it faster than anyone else, you'll probably understand why not all participants of the race return home on their own. For this reason, there are always medics and ambulances on duty under the mountain.

Contrary to what was said earlier, no one has ever managed to catch up with the cheese head, so the first person to cross the finish line is considered the winner.

The authorities have repeatedly tried to ban this dangerous tradition, but the race is still going on. To break another stereotype, there are always enough female participants in the race, and in addition to professional athletes, amateurs also join the race. There are separate races for them.

Discovering the planet: unusual traditions of different peoples around the world that surprise tourists

Haka dance in Maori, New Zealand

Haka is a ritual dance of the New Zealand Maori, during which performers stomp their feet, beat their thighs and chests, and shout out accompaniment. In the Maori language, this word means "dance in general" and "song accompanying the dance."

Although the haka is an ancient battle tank the main purpose of which is to intimidate the enemy, it has become more popular these days. All thanks to the New Zealand rugby team. For many years now, they have been invariably starting each of their matches with an unusual shake. Videos of their performances have garnered millions of views on social media.

Despite its intimidating appearance, the haka as a dance is quite versatile. The fact is that it is not just one dance but a collective name for several. There are separate hakas for men, women, and children, as well as fighting and greeting hakas. But all of them are united by the ancestors and people around you because you repeat the same movements in synchronization.

Facial expressions are also important for haka. Bulging eyes and sticking out the tongue are considered a sign of a good dance performance in the local area. Interestingly, women do not show their tongues during this process, leaving it to men.

The traditions of other nations can be surprising. But we shouldn't forget that we are all different, so we can look at the same things from different angles.

Discovering the planet: unusual traditions of different peoples around the world that surprise tourists

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