Even today, Menstruation remains to be a taboo in various regions of the world, especially in the non-western societies. There are a lot of communities that follow certain rituals and customs when a girl in their family starts menstruating. While some of them are asked to undergo a ritual like marrying a banana tree, others get slapped on getting their periods. And that’s not all, we have some more.
Here is a list of some of the craziest rituals associated with menstruation that was, or maybe still are, being carried out around the world:
Yes, you read that right. In Turkey, girls are slapped when they unveil the news of their first period to their parents. Isn’t it scary? Well, the reason why this ritual of slapping young girls on their first period is done is to turn their cheeks red and to ensure that they have a sense of shame throughout their lives.
Made to swallow an Egg
In Brazil, when girls get their first period, they are made to eat a whole egg. And just in case she fails to swallow it whole and bites the egg, it is believed to be a bad sign as it means to kill your babies.
This one is the most disgusting of all. In the Philippines, when a girl gets her period for the first time, the blood stains obtained on her panties are first rinsed just with water and then the panty is smeared over her face. It is believed that this helps in preventing pimples in the future.
Slaughtering of goats
Zulu, an ethnic group in South Africa, follows a particular ritual when a girl from their group, starts menstruating. The ritual is that, when a girl gets her first period, she is made to cover her head with a blanket and hide in a place till sunset. She is not allowed to meet her friends and on the occasion of her first period, a goat is slaughtered. After this, she is bathed by other women of the community and given lessons on womanhood.
A big celebration
This one’s a good one. In some regions of south India, when a girl gets her first period, her family celebrates it. And it is not a normal one; it is as big as a marriage. The girl is offered gifts like flowers and sweets by relatives. It is believed to be an important event in her life. Also, on the last day of her menstrual cycle, she is bathed by her mother and other women. And that is not all; she is also gifted new clothes and ornaments to wear for the Greh Pravesh ceremony.
Made to marry a banana tree
In Assam, when girls get their first period, they are asked not to meet anyone and are confined to remain in their room during their period. They have to deal with certain restrictions on what they eat, where they sleep and whom they meet. But once their menstrual cycle is over, there’s a grand celebration that takes place. She is made to bath in front of the ladies of the house and after that, some rituals are performed in which she is made to get married to a banana tree. This ritual is called “Tuloni Biya”.
In Israel, when a girl gets her first period, she is made to lick a teaspoon of honey in order to make future periods easier. Isn’t this the sweetest of all?