In our world the concept of what is "normal" always evolves with time, for example, being gay today is much more accepted than it was in the 70's, but the opposite also happens, instead of becoming more normal over time, these customs you're about to see just got weirder.
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Sleeping Twice Per Night
How many times do you sleep a night? Probably one, right? But during medieval times (AD 476) until about 1800, people used to sleep twice at night. Long before electric power was invented, our ancestors had to go to sleep when the sun was setting. But doing so meant sleeping for a long time, so around midnight they woke up and continued their day, they prayed, read, visited their neighbors, had sex, smoked, or spent some quiet time with their family for a few hours before finally going back to sleep until dawn. From the 1800s onwards this practice began to die little by little and in the 1900s it was completely abandoned.
Bathing? Well, No Thank You!
Our ancestors did not shower regularly, they used to bathe once a week, a month or even a year! Who bathed once a week was considered eccentric, they used to just wash their face and hands, and also use a lot of perfume. And wash their hair? No way, they wore those white wigs because lice were common in the old days. The reason for all this is that they thought water carried diseases, which to be fair, were not entirely wrong.
Today we brush, floss and even strive to whiten our teeth, but in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was the opposite. At that time, sugar was very expensive in England because it was mostly imported into the country. Therefore, only upper-class Elizabethans could afford it. Excessive use of the merchandise rotted their teeth, so much so that Queen Elizabeth lost many of hers because of her love for sweets, and people could barely understand when she spoke. Low-class citizens began to see black teeth as a symbol of social status, and a new custom was born. People whose teeth weren't black enough applied cosmetics and used charcoal to darken them and make them look rotten with sugar.
For a long time smoking was nothing more than a custom. They smoked in hospitals, schools and on airplanes. Many felt that cigarettes were good for the body, it would "warm the body" and "eliminate bacteria", etc. Of course, all they got, in the end, was cancer.
And speaking of cancer, in the nineteenth-century many thought radioactivity was a good thing, so many beauty products were radioactive, and that was normal.
Nowadays you have the option to flush your toilet, but what about before? Well, before that you would just throw it out the window, with people passing down there or not. Before the invention of the toilet, we had a potty for the rich and buckets for the poor, and since there was no sewage system when the bucket filled they sometimes threw it into the streets.
Dresses Were For Boys
This costume today would surely be criticized by many, but boys wore dresses! And that was normal. Due to the high cost of making children's clothing, it was customary for the four-year-olds to wear dresses. This way, the child could grow up wearing the dress without the need for new clothes, because it was much wider than pants and shirts. Another reason was that it was much easier to change their diapers that way. When the boy finally changed into "men's" clothes they performed a ceremony. The practice lasted from the sixteenth century until about 1920.
Drugs For The Children
Today drugs like heroin and cocaine are illegal, but in the old days they were considered normal, and even used as medicine. About 100 years ago, heroin, for example, was sold as a "safer and smoother alternative to morphine" and was sold in stores as simple cough medicine. It has often been prescribed even for children. These products were not banned until 1924 when heroin was found to be converted to morphine once in the liver. The Germans, however, used it until 1974. To get an idea of how normal this behavior was, even detective Sherlock Holmes used these drugs in his tales.
Before The Toilet Paper
This was not so much a custom as it was a necessity, before the invention of the miraculous toilet paper, people took turns with what they had, from plant leaves to branches. But the Greeks preferred to use smooth stones to clean themselves. Comfortable it sure wasn't.
The Granddaddy Of High Heels?
Do you know what the hell are chopines? Probably not, since we no longer wear them. They were platform shoes used from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. They were up to 50 cm (19 inches) high and were used to prevent dresses from dragging in mud or rainwater. They were so popular that laws were created to regulate their height, they should be no more than 7 centimeters (2,7 inches), but everyone ignored the law.
Leeches For Everyone
When it comes to ancient medicine everything was bizarre, but leeches are still almost at the top of the list. Basically in the old days, they thought that everything could be solved by removing what they called "excess blood". Got a headache? Bleed your head. Got arm pain? Bleed your arm. In the end, they started using leeches, animals that draw blood from the person naturally.
A Miraculous Nightmare
Another "miracle cure" of our ancestors was lobotomy. If the person had mental problems (especially schizophrenia), they thought that piercing her head would solve it. Of course, they only got worse, yet the treatment was used for a long time.
The only way these people bathed was in another custom that would be bizarre today, the public baths. Basically people gathered in these places more to socialize than actually bathe, but what can you do? It was better than nothing... right?