To commemorate the Day of Ashura Shi'ite muslims around the world whip themselves on their backs with sharp knives attached to chains.

Believers whipping themselves to commemorate the Day of Ashura. Photo// courtesy.

Religious practices are sentient of beliefs and rituals carried out by different religious groups. Some of these practices and rituals are either peaceful or extremely brutal. These practices and rituals have their essence in each religious group.

In India, Kerala the devotees of Lord Vishnu are hung on a metal hook of the gods vehicle. These practice in Gurudan Thookkam, south India is also known as Eagle hanging. These devotees are dressed in a certain way and they are called Garuda the metal piercing are either on their back or their arms.

A Gurudan hanging from a metal hook on a Lord Vishnu carriage// photo// courtesy.

The commemoration of the day of Ashura. These is a practice by the Shi’ite Muslim all over the world whereby they hit themselves on the back with sharp knives placed on chains. These is to mourn the death of prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein. These ceremony is also known as self flagellation.

The eating of the ashes of a burnt- dead mixed with banana. This is practiced by the Yanomami tribe of Amazon, Brazil. The significance of these practice is to show that the faced person lives forever among them.

Yonomami tribe of Amazon, Brazil.// Photo// courtesy.

In Africa, Madagascar, there is a ceremony practiced by a local tribe that involve the family exhuming the remains of their ancestors corpses, dressing them with new clothes and dancing with them around. These practice seems to be the same as that practiced in some parts of Mexico. Animal sacrifices are also part of these ritual.

A group of people carrying their newly dressed ancestor's corpse to commemorate a traditional ceremony in Madagascar. Photo// courtesy.

In Indonesia, there is a tribe that considers pointy-sharp vampirism teeth on women beautiful. So they perform a ritual by using a crude instrument to chisel the teeth. The process does not involve use of any anesthetic, making it extremely painful. For pain reduction they are given green banana to dull the pain. The significance of the practice is to maintain balance between soul and body.

In Tibet, there is a sky burial ceremony these rather strange practice involves the dissecting of the deceased body on mountaintops. The remains of the corpse are consumed by vultures. Most Tibetans follow Buddhist tradition, which dictates that human body is a vessel that can be discarded. This practice is now extremely outlawed, but can be done with family permission.

Chickens like most animals feature in religious belief and mythology. There is a pleasant belief in Islam that when a cock crows it is because he has seen an angel. In the Hadith, Muhammad commands, “When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah’s Blessings for they have seen an angel.

The chicken has a great importance during the Hindu cremation ceremony in Indonesia. A chicken is tied by his or her leg during the duration of the ceremony so that any evil spirits may be channeled into the chicken rather than the family members who are present. After this ceremony the chicken is returned home and is not treated any differently.

Do you think there are other religious practices that are bizarre?. What are they? And how are believer attached to the significance of these practices?.