The Most Interesting Religious Rituals Around the World

The Most Interesting Religious Rituals Around the World, From Crucifixion with Nails in Hands to Skewering the Body

The Ma Nene ritual is a tradition of the Toraya people of Indonesia


In this ritual, graves are opened and the dead are taken out of their coffins. The deceased person is fully cared for and dressed in beautiful clothes. All the relatives gather together and the dead body remains in the family home for weeks or even months. This ritual is performed every 7 or 10 years.

In this religious ritual that occurs in Indian tribes, tribal men wear skewers on their bodies and walk around like this for 8 days


They call this ritual the ‘sun dance’.

Christian living in the Philippines community is hosting a ritual that is too painful for empathy


In the ceremony Filipinos call ‘Good Friday’, both men and women are crucified. Some are voluntarily nailed to the cross with nails through the palms of their hands. The people living here resort to this ritual to feel the pain of their prophet.

In this ritual performed by South Indians, men have large body piercings


The piercings are then pulled with long ropes. This rituals is not limited to the back and chest area, but also includes men’s tongues. They describe the ritual as God Murugan defeating his spear-wielding enemies and they perform it regularly.

This ritual performed by the Matasu tribe living in Papua New Guinea has become a tradition

Men who have reached the age of marriage have to insert sharp sticks into their throat, tongue and nose to prove that they have reached this maturity in the eyes of the god.

Men in Brazil have to perform a very painful ritual

The tribesmen have to wear a glove made of leaves for 20 minutes, but inside the glove are ants, which are extremely poisonous and cause great pain when they bite.

The most interesting ritual, and one that must be performed over an extremely long period of time, is the mummification ritual performed by Buddhist monks

This rituals, in which Buddhist monks turn themselves into mummies, is called Sokushinbutsu. After 3 years of eating only seeds and nuts, the monks become very thin and get rid of excess body fat. For the next 3 years, they eat only tree branches and drink a poisonous tea. When the priests are about to die, they are buried alive in the grave and the ritual is complete.

As part of this ritual in Japan, shrines are completely demolished every 20 years

The completely destroyed shrines are rebuilt in exactly the same way. It is believed that this ritual prevents the wood from rotting and at the same time strengthens the royalty and the goddesses who protect the rice crop. The last ritual took place in 2013. It will be performed again in 20 years from now.

Meryem Lara Sarıusta

Hi, I'm Meryem. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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