India is a country which is packed with unique cultures and traditions, as well as many weird superstitions and customs. From harmless practices to downright dangerous rituals, India has it all.

In the Nagrala village of Karnataka, and Solapur and Harangal villages of Maharashtra, the extreme ritual of tossing infants off a roof is practiced.

Such a practice may be shocking to the rest of the world, but these villagers strongly believe the ritual makes their infants strong and brings good luck to their families.

Hindu and Muslim families in the villages hand over their infants to village religious leaders, who carries the baby by its hand and feet, and shakes them vigorously before tossing them off a roof of a place of worship.

Meanwhile, a group of men waits with a bedsheet several feet below to catch the falling babies. Once the infant lands on the bedsheet, the crowd cheers happily. The babies are then handed back to their parents.


However, practices like these can cause death or injury, as well as Shaken Baby Syndrome, which might not be apparent until the age of six.

It is said that this 700-year old ritual is not a religious practice, but a mere local custom.

Knowing the dangers this ritual poses to young children, several child rights groups worked towards putting a stop to this practice and India's National Commission for Protection of Child Rights ordered the practice to be stopped in the year 2009.

But the villagers weren't ready to give up on their custom, as they strongly believe it's the only way to bring luck and prosperity to their family. Thus, the practice was revived in 2011 and is still being followed in these villages.



Source: Ripleys, Edtimes.in and TheNewYorkTimes