This article highlights some of the weirdest and most terrifying ancient rituals from different cultures and time periods. From bloodletting to human sacrifice, foot binding to mummification, and more, these rituals were all performed for specific religious, cultural, or social reasons. While some of these practices may seem barbaric or unbelievable to us today, they were deeply ingrained in their respective cultures and belief systems. It is crucial to acknowledge the diversity of beliefs and practices that have existed in human societies over time and to learn from them rather than dismissing them outright. As our society continues to evolve, it is essential we approach different cultures and traditions with an open mind and a willingness to learn and understand.
10 Weird and Terrifying Ancient Rituals You Won’t Believe Were Real
1. Mayan Bloodletting
Mayan people believed in gods and thought that offering blood would please them. They would pierce different body parts, including tongues and genitals, to offer blood to the gods. They also captured people from other tribes and used them for sacrificing.
2. Aztec Human Sacrifice
Aztecs believed that a god needs a constant supply of human blood to stay alive. They would capture people from other tribes and offer their still-beating hearts to the god. This ritual was performed in front of a large crowd and was considered a festive occasion.
3. Viking Blood Eagle
The Viking Blood Eagle was a ritual that involved slicing the ribs from a person’s back and then pulling out their lungs to resemble wings. It was a form of punishment for hated enemies and criminals.
4. Chinese Foot Binding
This ritual was performed on young girls, where their feet were bound tightly to prevent growth. The process was excruciating and left the girls’ feet stunted and deformed for life. It was believed to make the women more desirable as it rendered them unable to perform manual labor.
5. Egyptian Mummification
During Egyptian times, people thought that preserving the body would help the person reincarnate in the afterlife. They would remove the organs, mummify the remains, and place the corpse in a sarcophagus. This process was costly and took a long time to complete.
6. Incan Child Sacrifice
In Incan society, children were considered pure and often used as sacrifices to the gods. The children were taken to high peaks, where they were given intoxicants and then left to freeze to death while the priests watched.
7. Japanese Seppuku
Seppuku was a ritual form of suicide performed by Japanese samurai in feudal Japan. When a samurai felt that he had failed in his duties, he would commit seppuku by slicing open his belly and gutting himself.
8. Greek Cremation
The Greeks believed that burning the body after death was a way to release the soul from the physical body. They would flare the remains on a pyre and gather the ashes for safekeeping.
9. Druid Human Sacrifice
The Druids, an ancient Celtic culture, believed that human sacrifices would help them appease the gods. They would offer the victims to the gods in hope of gaining their favor.
10. Australian Aboriginal Seed Feasting
The Australian Aboriginal culture performed seed feasting, where they would eat specific seeds they thought were related to their ancestral spirits. However, this induced a trance-like state that some say allowed them to communicate with the spirits.
These ancient rituals may seem strange and frightening to us now, but they were essential beliefs and practices for the cultures that performed them. It’s important to remember that our understanding and beliefs have evolved over time, and we will continue to grow and change as a society.