One of the best part about visiting different countries is learning about their unique traditions.
Whether they’re related to food, religion, history, or are so ancient that folks can’t even remember how they started, traditions can be a special part of learning about other cultures. However, sometimes they can have you scratching your head.
On Reddit, people are sharing the traditions in their culture that can appear to make no sense to people who aren’t from that culture.
So next time you see someone throwing black pudding off a scaffold, you’ll know it’s totally acceptable behavior.
“A Christmas tradition where groups dress up in costume and go from house to house to party, drink and dance until the homeowners guess who you are. Not sure letting a bunch of disguised drunk people into your kitchen to dance would work anywhere besides a small town.” — smkels
“We have a ‘Black Pudding Throwing Festival’ in the village once a year. They erect scaffolding in the main road through town, and put some big ass Yorkshire Puddings on top of the scaffold. You pay a quid, and get 3 Black Puddings to throw up and knock off as many as you can. It’s pretty weird.” — Fallen189.
“Here in the Netherlands, when someone celebrates their birthday, we congratulate everyone that is present at the party. Let’s say it’s John’s birthday party, people arriving at the party will congratulate everyone in the room by saying: ‘congratulations on John’s birthday,’ or just ‘congratulations’ (gefeliciteerd!).” — PafPiet
“Can you imagine being Guy Fawkes’ ghost and watching every year people celebrating your death with fireworks and amusements…” — Elephanthunt11
“Sauna. Not the existence of it, but just how common it is. I mean I live a pretty slummy neighborhood paying dirt cheap rent, and even I have free sauna access included with my flat.” — TABLEFAN_Inc
“Oktoberfest—the real one, in Munich. I mean, everybody gets it — it’s about drinking a crap ton of beer for a month in Lederhosen. But most don’t know that it is an annual celebration of the wedding of a prince long dead, of a country that doesn’t exist anymore. Bavarians like to make their parties organized and scheduled.” — SnowTard_4711
“Buying a sausage in a hot dog bun/single slice of bread from the parking lot of a tools and hardware store chain on a Saturday.” — Swampy1235
“Yerba maté. Not just the fact that we drink it, but the fact that we drink it like you’d pass around a joint with everyone drinking from the same metal straw.” — Anna_Rapunzel
“We have a tradition in which it is believed that some person can be bewitched by a ‘bad eye’ in case someone looks at you with bad or jealous intentions. This happens especially if you’re beautiful, young, handsome, successful etc. If someone looks at you like that, you can “catch the bad eye” and then have a lot of bad luck.
If you ‘catch the bad eye’ there are rituals that can be performed to ‘remove the bad eye.’ These are typically performed by old ladies or old men. They have to say a few secret words while looking at you and mixing oil and water (the oil ‘catches’ the ‘bad eye’ in the water as it forms the shape of an eye). The secret words are passed down from males to females and from females to males, but not through the same gender.
To prevent catching the bad eye, there are a few methods. Either you can carry an eye jewelry with you (literally a blue circle in the form of an eye), or someone can spit on you. They believe if you are spat on, the bad eye sees the spit and doesn’t think you’re beautiful anymore. So if you’re a young girl and you go to your grandma, they may say something ‘Oh my god you look so beautiful’ and then spit on you. Of course they don’t literally spit, they just pretend to spit. Greece.” — dionyziz
“Not my country but my sister is over in Barcelona/Catalonia. Every year around Christmas the kids ‘feed’ an inanimate log of wood and then after a certain amount of days — once it’s full — they beat it with sticks until it s**ts out presents. I mean it’s more plausible than Santa I guess but what the f**k.” — ponderous_pete
“Watering’ women on Easter Monday so we ‘don’t wilt.’ It used to be done with a bucket of water, nowadays it’s usually just spraying some cheap cologne after saying a cringey poem. We still hate it. (Imagine having 4-5 male relatives and friends attacking you with different scents of bad cologne.) I’d bet my arse it’s the remnant of some forgotten pagan fertility rite.” — AkechiJubeiMitsuhide
“When you go to the sauna you’re supposed to get a bundle of these birch twigs and hit yourself and others with them in the steamy sauna. It’s a purifying act and helps the blood circulation but it’s something foreigners often find strange. Also, cutting a hole into the ice in the middle of winter and going ice swimming. People are sometimes surprised to hear that doing this doesn’t kill you.” — AlienAle
“In New Years Eve, it’s tradition in Spain to eat 12 grapes, one for every 12 bell’s chimes. It’s supposed to bring good luck for the new year.” — proflight27
“Holi where one day before we make a giant campfire and throw coconuts in it, and then the next day we all throw colours at each other.” — killmetwice1234
“Midsommar (a Swedish thing). Basically we Sweds dress up a cross or ‘T’ with leaves and other things, hang two “rings” made from what ever is green (leaves, grass and flowers) at each side of the longitudinal part of the cross or ‘T.’ And now it looks like a d*ck. Now what does a group of Sweds do with the ‘Midsommar stong’ (the giant d*ck looking thing)?
We dance around it of course and sing about washing our clothes and the small little Frogs. While wearing ‘wreath’ on our heads. And then we eat pretty much the same thing we do on Easter and Christmas and there is generally a shit tone of alcohol involved. Midsommar was and is meant to celebrate fertility….(that is why the whole d*ck).” — Whit-Batmobil
“Groundhog Day.” — That_Bitch20
“Day of the Death (Día de Muertos) is pretty known to be celebrated in Mexico but there’s this tradition of Death’s Day of writing a ‘Calaverita’ which is a poem you write to a friend or member of the family, narrating how they died or would die in a comedic way. Basically making fun of the demise of our loved ones.” — Sad_Blueberry_
“Whoever finds the tiny baby Jesus hidden inside the cake has to bring next years cake!” — hecknomancy
“Ah Mari Lwyd, where a bunch of nut jobs come knocking with a dead horse asking to come in for booze and you have to tell them to f**k off through the medium of a song.” — Hurridium-PS2
“In the UK they roll a big round block of cheese down a very steep hill and then some mad folk chase it down the hill. They end up popping shoulders, fingers etc all out of place but don’t worry we have free NHS. The winner is the one that gets the cheese.” —Guru6676