India is a country filled with different communities, cultures, religions, ethnicities, customs, etcetera. So, let’s find out more about this amazing place.
Despite the fact that India has one of the richest and most interesting cultures in the world, it has largely been forgotten about because globalisation has resulted in almost everything becoming westernised. And so, to celebrate this country’s beautiful culture, today we will be looking at some of the most interesting traditions in India that you should know about. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
1.) Frog Weddings
Frog weddings are one of the most brilliant and bewildering traditions in India. These ceremonies are conducted to appease the rain gods, especially when monsoon season has arrived late. The country relies on heavy rainfall from June to September, so they can feed their crops and avoid drought. As such, a male frog is called Varun (after the God of Water) and a female frog is called Varsha (the name for the monsoon season). Then, they are married in a ceremony that is set out like a traditional Hindu wedding.
2.) Andar Bahar
Andar Bahar is a traditional card game that originated in India. Being hundreds of years old, it has always been a popular pastime, with people often playing against one another at social gatherings and the like. The appeal of Andar Bahar mostly comes down to its simplicity; players have a 50:50 chance of winning. You can learn Andar Bahar rules here if you would like to find out more about playing the game yourself.
3.) The Bani Festival
The Bani festival is held in the Devargutta Temple during Dussehra and it is perhaps the strangest Indian tradition on this list. To celebrate the sacred deity Shiva killing a malevolent demon, people gather in the temple and conduct a ritual wherein they hit one another on the head with a stick. This continues until dawn, even if the participants have started bleeding. Fortunately, no one has ever died during the Bani festival for the 100 years it has been hosted.
4.) Buffalo Racing
Buffalo racing is a popular sport which occurs during Kambala, an annual festival that is celebrated mainly by farming communities in some parts of India. The participants control a pair of buffalos and run through swampy fields of mud. Buffalo racing was initially banned in 2014 for animal cruelty. However, people have been allowed to play the sport again if steps are taken towards ensuring the buffalos are happy and healthy.
5.) Worship for Spirits
During December and January every year, the Tuluva community will conduct a ritual of worship for the beloved spirits who protect their villages from different calamities and ensure the area’s prosperity. These rituals are incredibly colourful with people dressing up, dancing, storytelling and playing music. People are also possessed during this time and then blessed with knowledge on resolving interpersonal issues in the village.These are some of the most interesting traditions in India that you should know about. We’ve barely scratched the surface, so keep researching to find out more about this amazing and rich culture.