They Do What?: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Extraordinary and Exotic Customs from around the World, 1st Edition

  • Editor: Javier A. Galván
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1610693426
  • ISBN-13: 9781610693424
  • DDC: 390
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 400 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2014 | Published/Released December 2014
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2014

  • Price:  Sign in for price



In Maharashtra, India, a tradition exists to throw newborn babies off the tops of buildings. At the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand, some people ritualistically pierce their cheeks and faces with swords and knives. How did these surprising customs come to be? From camel wrestling to cheese-rolling competitions to a tomato-throwing festival, this fascinating single-volume encyclopedia examines more than 100 customs, traditions, and rituals that may be considered strange and exotic to U.S. readersThis work provides high school and undergraduate students with a compelling and fascinating exploration of world customs and traditions. Comprising entries by anthropologists, religious leaders, scholars, dancers, musicians, historians, and artists from almost every continent in the world, this encyclopedia provides readers a truly global and multidisciplinary perspective. The entries explore the origins of the custom, explain how it was established as a tradition, and describe how and where it is practiced. A thematic guide enables readers to look up entries by the type of tradition or custom, such as birth, coming of age, courtship and wedding, funeral, daily customs, holidays, and festivals.



  • Javier A. Galván

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
List of Entries.
Geographic Guide to Entries.
Thematic Guide to Entries.
1: Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.
2: Animal Sacrifice in Santería Rituals.
3: Ash Eating.
4: Ashanti Extravagant Funerals.
5: Baba Marta: A Bulgarian Spring Celebration.
6: Baby-Naming Ceremonies in Ghana.
7: Baby's Feet Off the Ground.
8: Balut: Eating Duck Eggs with Embryos.
9: Barong Dance Ceremony.
10: Berber Marriage Festival.
11: Black Pudding Throwing Championship.
12: Blackening the Bride.
13: Blood Drinking.
14: Bochnia Salt Mine Underground Relay Race.
15: Bog Snorkeling.
16: Bone Houses and Ossuaries.
17: Boryeong Mud Festival.
18: Breast Ironing.
19: Brushing Teeth with Cow's Dung Ashes.
20: Bullet Ant Initiation.
21: Burning of Witches Event.
22: Burying Llama Fetuses.
23: Burying the Placenta.
24: Buzkashi, Afghani Sport on Horseback.
25: Camel Racing.
26: Camel Wrestling.
27: Candomblé Religion and Animal Sacrifice.
28: Cannibalism.
29: Carnaval Do Rio de Janeiro.
30: Carrying Flaming Tar Barrels.
31: Cheese Rolling Competition.
32: Chess Boxing Championships.
33: Corpse High-Platform Exposure.
34: Cow Jumping Initiation.
35: Day of the Dead: Día de los Muertos.
36: Diablada Dance, Dance of the Devils.
37: Dipo Womanhood Ceremony.
38: Eating Human Placenta.
39: Endocannibalism.
40: Fantasy Coffins.
41: Fattening Rooms.
42: Female Genital Cutting and Mutilation.
43: Feria de las Flores, Festival of Flowers in Medellín.
44: Fiesta de Santiago y Vejigantes.
45: Fiestas de Quito.
46: Finger Amputation at Funerals.
47: Firewalking.
48: Forehead-Cutting Initiation.
49: Goose Day.
50: Gurning.
51: Haxey Hood Game.
52: Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors.
53: Hormigas Culonas, Eating Big-Butt Ants.
54: Infiorata Festival, Flower-Petal Tapestries.
55: Inti Raymi, Festival of the Sun.
56: Jerusalem Ice Festival.
57: Jumping Over Babies, El Colacho.
58: Junkanoo Bahamas Festival.
59: Kapparot Ritual.
60: Konaki Sumo, Crying-Baby Sumo Competition.
61: Krampus and Christmas.
62: Kumbh Mela Spiritual Pilgrimage.
63: Kung Musical Healing Ceremony.
64: Land-Diving Ceremony.
65: Little Devils Festival, Los Diablitos.
66: Living with the Dead.
67: Lobola: Bridal and Financial Contract.
68: Log-Riding Onbashira Festival.
69: Losing Hmong Female Names.
70: Lotus Births.
71: Maasai Circumcision Ceremony.
72: Man versus Horse Marathon.
73: Matis Hunting Trials.
74: Menstrual Isolation Ritual.
75: Mizuko Kuyō, Miscarried and Aborted Fetus Ceremony.
76: Moko: Māori Male Facial Tattoos.
77: Monkey Buffet Festival.
78: Nag Panchami, Festival of Snakes.
79: NAIDOC Aboriginal Week in Australia.
80: Neck Stretching in Thailand.
81: Ngaben Cremation Ceremony.
82: Nyabingi Rastafarian Sessions.
83: Parranda de Remedios Christmas Festival.
84: Penile Subincision Ceremony.
85: Phuket Vegetarian Festival.
86: Polterabend.
87: Polyandry Marriage.
88: Puck Fair.
89: Puffin Hearts, a Raw Delicacy.
90: Qingming Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day.
91: Quema del Diablo, Burning the Devil.
92: Ramadan: Fasting, Prayer, and Charity.
93: Redneck Games.
94: Reed Dance Chastity Ceremony.
95: Rogaining International Competitions.
96: Rooster Comb Soup.
97: Rumspringa Amish Run.
98: Running of the Bulls.
99: Russefeiring.
100: Sannakji, Eating Live Octopus.
101: Santería Cleansing Rituals.
102: Sapporo Snow Festival, Yuki Matsuri.
103: Scarification of Children's Faces.
104: Scorpions on a Skewer.
105: Setsubun, Bean-Throwing Children's Festival.
106: Shabka: Egyptian Wedding Jewelry.
107: Sharo: Public Flogging and Bravery.
108: Sky Burials.
109: Snake Handlers in Christian Appalachia.
110: Snake Wine.
111: Spitting as Greeting Tradition.
112: Sprinkling Cake on a Child's Head.
113: Tarantulas as Fried Delicacy.
114: Tết Vietnamese Lunar Year.
115: Thaipusam, Extreme Flesh Modification.
116: La Tomatina, Tomato Food Fight.
117: Tooth-Filing Ceremony.
118: Tuna-Throwing Competition.
119: Turks and Caicos Conch Festival.
120: Umbilical Cord as Family Treasure.
121: Up Helly-Aa, Fire Festival.
122: Varzesh-e Bastani Iranian Wrestling.
123: Virgen del Carmen, Fiestas de Cusco.
124: Visiting-Girls Courting Tradition.
125: Washing Hands with Cow's Urine.
126: Whuppity Scoorie Children's Celebration.
127: Wife-Carrying Competition.
128: Wodaabe Courtship Dance and Festival.
129: World Beard and Moustache Championships.
130: Yams, Sex, and Marriage in Trobriand Traditions.
Selected Bibliography.
About the Editor.