Most Bizarre Traditions of the USA That Are Known for Peculiar Customs
Traditions speak about a country’s rich history and culture. Traditions contribute a sense of belonging by bringing families and close ones together. Traditions reinforce values; celebrate things that have much importance in life; enable people to unite as a country. Countries that have centuries-old history will showcase great traditions that have developed over the years.
While talking about traditions, the United States of America can’t be sidelined although it doesn’t boast a rich history like Greece or any other European country. A relatively young nation, it manages to pull off its fair share of traditions. Some of them are world-famous such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day. Others are pretty weird and strange. Let’s check out some of the most bizarre traditions of the USA that are known for their peculiar customs.
5 of the Most Bizarre Traditions of the USA That You Should Know
- Presidential Turkey Pardons: A pretty weird one! In 1989, George Bush Senior, the then President of America, made the turkey pardon a permanent annual event, which has been followed since then. This weird tradition began way back in the 1940s. The US presidents were presented with a Thanksgiving turkey and they used to pardon it, thus sparing the bird’s life officially. The bird would return to its farm to live out the rest of its life (which, in most occasions, last less than a year). If you think there is something in this tradition (maybe some deeper meaning), there isn’t.
- Roadkill Cook-off: The people of West Virginia celebrate this weird occasion with delights as teriyaki-marinated deer sausage, biscuits covered in squirrel gravy – everything well-scooped up from the roadside after an accident. The locals of Marlington West Virginia have been celebrating a Roadkill Cook-off every September.
- Groundhog Day: Groundhog burrows are put under scrutiny for their powers to foretell seasonal change. This event takes place each year on 2nd February. If folklore is to be believed, if the groundhog appears on a cloudy day from its burrow, spring is likely to strike early. What’s weirder? If it is sunny, the groundhog will return to its burrow, which will confirm winter to last for 6 more weeks. This long tradition has been existing dating back to the 18th-century. The tradition is believed to have originated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. ‘Groundhog Day’ the famous movie made the tradition more famous. The movie was out in 1993.
- Cherry Pit Spitting: Every year in Michigan, the USA witnesses the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. People who participate in this will have to eat the cherry and then spit the pip with massive force. It should go as far as possible. However, the contestants are prohibited from popping their cheeks with their hands. Neither can they use any other objects or props.
- Ostrich Racing: Arizona hosts the biggest ostrich race in the country. It is held at the Chandler Ostrich Festival. In case you don’t know the speed of the ostriches – well, they can spring at a speed of 40 mph, isn’t it impressive? Fairly similar to horses, these ostriches can leap up to 5 meters in one single stride. Note that ostriches were brought to America in the 1880s for the very first time.
Amongst a few more bizarre traditions of the USA are the National Hollerin’ Contest in North Carolina, Pumpkin Chucking in Delaware, and Nenana Ice Classic in Alaska.
Does your country have bizarre traditions, too?