Of course, “strange” is a matter if opinion, usually influenced by our culture and values. So this list is just to be used as a reference for some ceremonies that you may want to include in your own writing.


Okipa Ceremony – (Mandan Tribe, USA) A person is suspended by wooden skewers and amputation of the pinky finger.

Cleansing Of Motherly Influences – (Matausas Tribe, Papua New Guinea) Inducing of vomiting by wooden canes down the throat, inserting reeds into the nose, repeated stabbing of the tongue.

Nanggol – (Pentecoste Island, Vanuatu) Someone is is tied with vines around the ankles with o safety equipment, and they bungee jump off of wooden towers up to 30 meters tall. The vines have no give, but the person’s shoulders are supposed to touch the ground.

Hadaka Matsuri – (Japan) Held in several places in Japan, men go out wearing little more than a fundoshi (a type of loincloth) in January. They visit shrines and celebrate the New Year. The ritual is supposed to purify and bring luck to the participants.

Self-Mummification – (Sokushinbutsu monks, Japan – currently banned) A slow form of suicide for religious purposes. Monks attempting this ritual follow a strict procedure including eating only nuts and seeds for 1000 days, eating only bark and roots from pine trees for another 1000 days, drinking a special tea which induced vomiting, and being entombed alive in a stone room.