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CREEPY CUSTOMS

Throughout history, myths and legends have played an essential role in shaping societies and cultures. From ancient Greek mythology to modern-day urban legends, these stories provide insight into the human psyche and offer a glimpse into the beliefs and values of different societies. However, some myths and legends are more terrifying than others, and they have a way of staying with us long after we've heard them. In this article, we will explore some of the creepiest myths and legends from around the world and examine why they continue to captivate audiences.

CREEPY MYTHS AND LEGENDS

The Bunyip - Australia

The Bunyip is a creature from Australian folklore that has been part of Aboriginal mythology for thousands of years. The Bunyip is believed to inhabit swamps, rivers, and billabongs and can shape-shift into different forms, making it challenging to pinpoint its exact appearance. Some descriptions suggest that the Bunyip resembles a giant seal or crocodile with a shaggy coat, while others suggest it has a human-like body and a dog's head. Given the creature's unknown nature, it's believed to be responsible for nighttime attacks on humans and animals.

While the origins of the Bunyip remain unclear, many speculate that the legend arose from the discovery of unknown animal remains in the Australian wilderness that couldn't be explained. The Bunyip continues to fascinate people, and there are some claims of sightings of the creature still occurring till this day.

 

The Mothman - United States

The Mothman is a cryptid from West Virginia folklore that first appeared in the late 60s. The creature is described as a winged humanoid with glowing red eyes and has been known to terrorize small towns, leading to mass hysteria and sightings of UFOs. The Mothman is believed to live in abandoned buildings and tunnels, and it's suggested that he foretells disasters.

The Mothman came to public attention in the mid-1960s when a group of people reported seeing a large, winged creature in the area. The sightings continued for several months before suddenly ceasing. While there is no concrete evidence to prove the Mothman's existence, the legend persists, and many believe that the creature is still out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting.

 

La Llorona - Mexico

La Llorona is a myth from Mexican folklore about a woman who drowned her children in a fit of madness after being left by her husband. Her ghost is said to wander near rivers, creeks, and streams, weeping and calling out for her children. Those who hear her are warned that she will take them as her own. According to the legend, La Llorona is cursed to wander the earth in search of her lost children, and she's often depicted as a tragic figure.

The origins of La Llorona are shrouded in mystery, but some scholars suggest that the legend was created to caution young women against infidelity and to encourage them to be devoted mothers. The story has evolved throughout the years, and it continues to be told and retold, with many variations circulating throughout Latin America and parts of the United States.

 

The Chupacabra - Puerto Rico

The Chupacabra is a legendary creature that many people believe is responsible for killing livestock and draining their blood in Puerto Rico and other parts of the world. The name "Chupacabra" literally translates to "goatsucker," as the creature was initially thought to attack goats. The Chupacabra is said to be a mix between a reptile and a dog and has large fangs.

The first reported sighting of the Chupacabra occurred in 1995 in Puerto Rico, and reports of the creature quickly spread throughout Latin America and the United States. Many people believe that the Chupacabra is a government experiment gone wrong, while others suggest that it's an extraterrestrial being. Despite numerous alleged sightings, there is no concrete evidence to support the existence of the Chupacabra.

 

The Wendigo - North America

The Wendigo is a terrifying creature that's part of Native American folklore, particularly in the Algonquin tribe. The creature is believed to be a cannibalistic spirit that possesses humans, driving them to madness and making them crave human flesh. The Wendigo is often depicted as a tall and skeletal creature with glowing eyes and antlers. It's said to reside in remote locations and is a cautionary tale about the dangers of greed and gluttony.

The Wendigo legend has evolved throughout the years, and it continues to influence popular culture. Some people believe that the legend originated from historical accounts of cannibalism during times of famine, while others suggest that it was created to discourage people from traveling alone in the wilderness. Whatever its origin, the Wendigo remains one of the scariest myths and legends from around the world.

 

Why do these stories still captivate us?

Whether we find these stories creepy or fascinating, there's no denying that they continue to have a lasting impact on our psyches. But why do we continue to be captivated by these stories?

Firstly, stories like the Bunyip, Mothman, La Llorona, Chupacabra, and Wendigo speak to our primal fears. They tap into our fear of the unknown and the dark side of human nature, reminding us that there are things out there that we cannot control or understand.

Secondly, these stories are often passed down from generation to generation, becoming part of our culture and heritage. By storytelling, we preserve our history and traditions, connecting us to our ancestors and our past.

Finally, these stories are often entertaining and thought-provoking, inspiring our imagination and creativity. They offer us a chance to explore new worlds and perspectives, allowing us to think outside the box and consider new ideas.

In conclusion, myths and legends are an essential part of our cultural heritage, and they help us understand the world around us. Some myths and legends are scary and unsettling, but they're also fascinating and thought-provoking. These stories remind us that our world is full of mysteries and that there's always more to discover. Whether we believe in them or not, these myths and legends will continue to captivate us and inspire us for generations to come.

Exploring Fascinating and Peculiar Traditions, Myths, and Cultures from Around the World

The Bun Festival – Cheung Chau, Hong Kong:

The Bun Festival, held annually during the eighth lunar month, has been a staple of Cheung Chau's cultural calendar since the 18th century. It commemorates the island's victory over a plague that ravaged its population. Legend has it that a Taoist priest used incantations and blessed buns to chase away the evil spirits responsible for the epidemic. Since then, the islanders have celebrated with an elaborate three-day festival featuring parades, lion dances, and sweet buns shaped like lotus flowers, turtles, and dragons.

 

The festival's centerpiece is the Bun Tower Climbing Contest, where competitors race up a giant bamboo tower, covered in steamed buns, to snatch a lucky bun from the top. The tradition dates back to 1894 when a strongman saved the village from a deadly typhoon by climbing a tall tree to secure a rope that anchored a boat in the harbor. The competition has since evolved into a thrilling spectacle of human agility and courage.

 

The Day of the Dead – Mexico:

The Day of the Dead is a colorful and festive celebration that reflects the deep-rooted belief among Mexicans that death is a natural part of life, and it should be celebrated, not feared. The tradition dates back to pre-Columbian times when the Aztecs believed that the souls of the dead returned to the world of the living for a brief visit each year. When the Spanish conquered Mexico, they introduced Catholicism, which blended with native traditions, resulting in the modern-day Day of the Dead.

 

The celebrations begin on October 31st, when families build elaborate altars, or ofrendas, in their homes or cemeteries, adorned with candles, incense, and marigolds - the traditional flower of the dead. They place the favorite food, drinks, and possessions of their deceased loved ones, along with sugar skulls and other decorations. The next day, November 1st, is Dia de los Inocentes, honoring children who have passed away, and November 2nd is Dia de los Muertos, honoring adult family members and friends.

 

The Kanamara Matsuri – Kawasaki, Japan:

The Kanamara Matsuri, also known as the Festival of the Steel Phallus, it is a unique and colorful celebration of fertility that has been taking place in Kawasaki since the 17th century. The origin of the festival is obscure, but it is believed to have emerged from sex workers who prayed for protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

 

The festival centers around the enshrined penis, a wooden sculpture of a phallus that is paraded through the streets on a mikoshi - a portable shrine. Participants carry smaller phallus-shaped charms, eat phallus-shaped food, and drinks sake from phallus-shaped cups. The festival promotes sexual health, fertility, and safe relationships and attracts visitors from around the world.

 

The Baby Jumping Festival – Castrillo de Murcia, Spain:

The El Colacho, or the Baby Jumping Festival, is one of the weirdest and most anticipated events in Spain. It is held annually in the small village of Castrillo de Murcia in Burgos province and has been recognized as a Festival of International Tourist Interest.

 

The tradition involves men dressed as the Devil, who jump over babies on mattresses laid out on the streets. The belief is that this act would cleanse the babies of sin, ensure their good health, and offer protection from evil spirits. It is considered an important rite of passage for newborns, and families even pay to have their children participate.

 

The Witches' Market – La Paz, Bolivia:

The Witches' Market, or the Mercado de las Brujas, is a fascinating and surreal market located in the heart of La Paz, Bolivia. The market specializes in traditional remedies, potions, and talismans, and it's a hub of folk spirituality that blends indigenous beliefs with Catholicism.

 

Visitors can find an array of unusual objects, including dried llama fetuses, coca leaves, and aphrodisiacs, purported to bring good luck, prosperity, and protection. The market is also home to fortune-tellers, who offer readings and predictions using coca leaves and traditional methods.

 

The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling – Gloucestershire, England:

The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling is a bizarre and risky sporting event that takes place every spring in the small town of Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England. The competition involves hurling a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese weighing around 7-9 pounds down a steep hill, and participants race after it, risking injuries and tumbles.

 

The origins of the festival are murky, but it may have been a pre-Christian pagan ritual or a summer solstice celebration. Nonetheless, it has been held annually for over 200 years and has attracted crowds from around the world. Despite the cancellation in recent years due to safety concerns, this event remains one of the weirdest and most popular traditions in England.

These peculiar traditions, myths, and cultures offer a glimpse into the fascinating and diverse world we live in. They highlight the intricate and often bizarre ways in which humans comprehend and relate to the world around them. From ancient fertility rituals to modern-day cheese rolling competitions, these customs and practices are deeply rooted in history, beliefs, and values, and they continue to fascinate and intrigue people from all corners of the globe.

WEIRD TRADITIONS: THE LIP PLATE TRADITION; THE MURSA AND SURI OF ETHIOPIA

A tradition that captures the mind and the senses can be found in Ethiopia's distant regions. Nestled among the wild terrain and natural splendor is the Mursa and Suri tribes of Southwestern Ethiopia. The Mursa and Suri tribes have long adopted a peculiar cultural practice known as the lip plate tradition. This ancient practice has evolved into a potent representation of beauty, identity, and resiliency thanks to its distinctive aesthetics and symbolic meaning. The practice marks the transition of young girls into ladies.

 A round or oval disc called a lip plate is inserted into a stretched piercing in the lower lip. In Suri, it is referred to as "dhebi a tugoin". The plate’s size varies from a few microns to an awe spiring 15 centimeters in diameter.

The lip plate has various symbolic meanings for these tribes. It stands for grace, fertility, age, and social standing. The size of the plate indicates how highly regarded the woman is in her community, and it usually determines a Suri woman’s bride price. The lip plate transforms into a beautiful work of art when it is decorated with intricate motifs and frequently adorned with beads, denoting grace, originality, and cultural identity.

The lip plate tradition is a gradual progression, and it calls for a tremendous amounts of physical endurance, perseverance, and patience. Young females begin the process by having a minor incision made in their lower lip when they are normally in their early teen years. A wooden or clay plug is implanted initially, and over time, larger ones take its place.

The lip plate custom goes beyond simple modifications to the body. It represents the move from adolescent to adulthood and serves as a rite of passage. It is a physical declaration of a woman's capacity for childbearing and her willingness for marriage. Accepting the practice becomes a means to connect with one's ancestral background, preserve culture, and inspire pride.

 

While the lip plate tradition is a symbol of beauty, fertility, and the likes amongst the Mursa and Suri tribe, some of the younger generation struggles with balancing tradition and modernity, and refused to indulge in the culture.  Nevertheless, many Mursa and Suri women still wear the lip plate with great devotion because they take pride and importance in the culture.

Today, as a result of the lip plate tradition, the Mursa and Suri tribe have become tourist attractions, drawing visitors from around the world.

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