Cultural Curiosities


Human tower competition in Tarragona, Spain (more images here):


La Tomatina.


Synchrony and solidarity

Chinese soldiers

Synchronized drumming:

Religious rituals and practices

  • Christianity: speaking in tongues, Christmas trees and lights, exorcisms
  • Judaism: circumcision,
  • Islam: the hajj, Ramadan, Mourning of Muharram,
  • Hinduism: Holi,
  • Other: Voodoo possession trances, ritual nudity (Jainism)

Fire rituals


These represent:

  • (top row) Mid-Autumn Festival; Hanukkah; Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center; Loi Krathong
  • (middle) Burning Man; a candlelight vigil; the "Big Game" bonfire at UC Berkeley; a KKK cross-burning
  • (bottom) Fireworks (for any number of holidays); Halloween; Diwali; Probarona Prunima

Funerary practices

Funerary traditions vary widely around the world, but all have one thing in common: disposal of the body. Mechanisms include burial, entombment, mummification, burial at sea, sky burial, and ritual cannibalism, and even more exotic mechanisms like hanging coffins or tree burial.

Paddleout (death ritual for surfers, starting at 10:58; more here):

Sati (widow self-immolation)

Body modification


Last updated November 4, 2015.