Have you ever wondered what the most unusual dating rituals from around the world were? Love Habibi reveals all…

1. In 19th Century Austria, women used to plant slices of apple under their bare armpits at social gatherings. Should a man take their fancy, they would remove the apple in order to present him with it – fruity!

Austria 1

2. In the Irish travelling community, something that was actually well-documented on hit TV-series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, it is a tradition for young men to ‘grab’ their women in order to quite literally take them away to somewhere secluded in order to forcibly kiss them. This is seen as a right of passage for young men and women.


3. In the remote Himalayas in the country of Bhutan in South Asia, it is customary for young men to go ‘night hunting’ for a partner, by climbing into their bedroom in the dead of night in order to engage in sexual activities. If they are caught by the parents then they are obliged to marry the girl.


4. Bali: It is customary during the Usaba Sambah festival in Bali, for single men of the community to fight one another with thorn ridden Pandanus leaves. the extremely painful ritual can last all day, but ultimately it would appear it impressed the lady folk who are said tho choose a partner based on their endurance in the battles.


5. In parts of Africa such as Zimbabwe and Tanzania, it is a right of passage for young, unmarried couples to fornicate in specially made huts. This is said to allow would be brides to almost ‘try before they buy’, and for the men to prove their ‘worth’. Ironically it is the father of the girl who will build the hut for the pair, but all is not as it seems. He does to keep the boy away from the family home until he is able to provide them with cattle as a token of his commitment. of course……

Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania

6. Whistling in Mexico: While whistling at the fairer delivers connotations of sleaze and derogatory behaviour here in the UK, in Mexico, young couples use it to send messages to one another in secret, and many will have their own tunes so that they are able to meet up without being caught by their parents.


7. In the Netherlands, there is a custom known as bundling, where young couples would spend the entire night talking while wrapped up in separate blankets. This was also popular in colonial America – in fact it was encouraged by parents as a means for their children to find partners.

US & Netherlands

8. In some parts of Quatar, it is actually tradition for the Mother of the groom to choose the bride, and for him not see her face until she unveils herself at the ceremony. Although this seems like an arranged marriage experts are keen to set it apart from that as a tradition.


9. There are actually male beauty pageants in parts of Cameroon and Chad where single males put themselves on display for potential female partners.

Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad

10. In Wales in the 1600s, it was customary for men to show off their crafting skills by making their potential wives a wooden spoon to keep – the best efforts were rewarded by their female counterparts.