ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Weirdest customs only happen in India. Photo: Youtube

These 10 'crazy' things in India below will surely give you goosebumps. Witness the unexplored nooks and crannies, away from the sky-high buildings for a taste of the spicy 'desi' flavor. Here are some images of oddly strange practices that will enthrall you because — IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA!

#1. Wedding rings on the feet

In Tamil Nadu, the wedding ring is placed on the “index” toe of the foot. The 2 silver rings, placed by the groom on the feet of his beloved, would be able, according to tradition, to inspire a healthy pregnancy. Gold rings have to be avoided in this instance since gold for Hindus is the symbol of the goddess of abundance: Lakshmi. Putting it on the feet, which are considered to be the most humble part of the body, could be seen as outrageous, as cited by the Times of India.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: Quora

The tremendous health benefits of toe rings

According to Ayurveda, the nerve on the second toe of the feet is connected directly to the uterus of the woman. So, a slight pressure (due to the toe ring) is known to regulate the menstrual cycle. It is also known to ensure a healthy uterus. That wearing a silver toe ring in the third toe by unmarried women helps them get rid or at least ease the period pain.

#2. There are special 'nuisance detectors' to fine those spitting in public.

India employs special "spit inspectors" and "nuisance detectors" to fine people that are caught spitting, urinating, or otherwise littering in public. Spitting in a public place in the absence of a spittoon is "banned under a 2006 Mumbai bylaw," according to AFP.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: Times of India

Beware, if you have the habit of dumping or disposing off garbage at places not designated for the purpose. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is all set to crack the whip on those who litter in public places from December 1.

#3. Marriage with dogs and other animals

This one is not a festival, but it is no less of a bizarre ritual conducted, to this day, in many parts of India. The more popular reason for this is that some folks are born during a particularly terrible astrological combination called Mangal Dosh.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: Pinterest

These guys, called Mangliks, are considered bad news for whoever they marry. So to get rid of the terrible fate that their spouses would be burdened with, they are made to marry an animal, usually a dog or a goat. Sometimes even a tree.

After a quick prayer and offerings made to the gods, the Manglik is now free to marry whomsoever he or she chooses. The marriage with animals is also done for other less common reasons like if the girl has some facial deformation or her teeth arrive too early. Naturally, girls draw the short end of the stick here, but these rituals are thankfully getting less common these days.

#4. Robbers try to steal truckloads of onions

Indian police prevented thieves from taking off with a truck full of onions. The thieves decided to target onions because the price of the vegetable had surged.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: The Suburbanite

After the theft of a truckload full of onions worth Rs 20 lakh, a fresh case of onion robbery has come to light. Onions have become such a pricey commodity that thieves have now started skipping on stealing cash and have turned their attention to unsuspecting farmers and onion traders.

A farmer in Richha village in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh has lodged a complaint that unknown persons have stolen onions from his farm. As per the farmer, the quantity of the stolen onions was about 6 quintals worth around Rs 30,000, reported India Today.

#5. Baby throwing or dropping

This controversial festival happens in Solapur in Maharashtra, with parents throwing their babies from a tower onto a sheet that is held by villagers. The festival is scary to say the least, but the villagers say that this ritual blesses the children with healthy lives. The government has already condemned the ritual, but you can still find local police and authorities at the event to take care of any problems.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: ED Times

The ritual is typically done by parents who have prayed at the Baba Umer Dargah for their pregnancy, but these days it is no longer tied to a single religion; you can find Muslims and Hindus partaking in the ceremony, India cites.

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#6. Men holding hands in public

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: Quartz

In India, it is common to see men holding hands in the streets. In some countries, this might be seen as a sign of a particular sexual orientation, but in India, it is only a demonstration of affection between 2 true friends. On that same note, it is really rare to see signs of affection between a man and a woman. It’s frowned upon for them to kiss in public.

#7. Thaipoosam

From Andhra, we move down south to the state of Tamil Nadu, famous for its share of oddball festivals. The Jalikattu festival recently courted controversy and is now pretty familiar to everyone, so we won’t touch on that. But there is another festival worth mentioning for its oddness: Thaipoosam. This festival venerates Kartikeya (known down south as Murugan), the son of Shiva and Parvati. Specifically, it celebrates Kartikeya receiving his celestial lance to destroy the demon king Tarakasura’s army. To commemorate a feat so intense, the festivities are intense as well.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: WordPress

Thaipoosam involves an extensive fast for 48 days, after which devotees pierce their bodies with lances, skewers, and hooks. You can find road processions in some parts of the state where devotees pull heavy objects, even tractors, with the hooks on their skin. They pierce their cheek and tongue, and many of them dance in a trance-like state to the drums and cries of other devotees.

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#8. Bhai Dooj

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: DNA India

A less harmful festival than throwing babies willy nilly is Bhai Dooj, also called Bhaiya Dooj. The festival is popular in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand as another version of Raksha Bandhan.

It typically falls during the Diwali celebrations and sees fairly innocuous rituals like applying vermilion on the brother’s forehead and performing prayers to the gods for a long and healthy life for the brother. But some parts of UP and Bihar have a different take on the festival. In many regions, sisters will spend the day cursing and abusing their brothers.

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#9. People swallow live fish to cure asthma

The Goud family in India claims to have a homemade remedy for asthma that involves swallowing a live fish that is filled with a tightly guarded medicine, as cited by Business Insider.

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: CBS News

For more than 150 years now, thousands of people have been gathering once every year in a bylane in the old city of Hyderabad, to avail of a secret herbal medicine that is placed inside a live murrel fish and administered on Mrigasira day, which falls in June and marks the beginning of the monsoon according to the Hindu calendar.

#10. Chilies are used as weapons

ONLY in INDIA: Top 10 Weirdest Customs
Photo: The Indian Express

The Indian military chose to turn the world's hottest chili, "bhut jolokia" or "ghost chili" as an alternative to tear gas as a filling for grenades. The bhut jolokia could take the spicy arms up several notches; it is rated the hottest chili in the world.

The active ingredient in chillis is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), a complex mixture of organic compounds. Aficionados rate the hotness of chills using the Scoville scale, which measures the amount of dilution needed before the heat is no longer detectable to a panel of tasters. Bell peppers have a rating of zero, Jalapenos can rate up to 8,000, and Habanero and scotch bonnets a blistering 100,000, reported Wired. The Jolokia rates just over a million on this scale.

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