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Rituals

Season 1
Every day, around the world, strange and sometimes shocking rituals take place. In an ambitious and exhaustive guide, priest and author Peter Owen Jones travels the world to explore the bizarre and often dangerous rituals practiced by some of the world's major religions and tribes. From the surreal to the sublime, this is the definitive exploration of the world's customs and ceremonies.
20098 episodes
TV-PG
Free trial of BBC Select

Episodes

  1. S1 E1 - Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire
    January 1, 2009
    59min
    16+
    The mysterious and often shocking religious rites of Australasia are rarely filmed. But priest and faith expert Peter Owen Jones intrepidly ventures into the Australian outback where he witnesses a baby smoking ceremony and explores the phenomenon of Aboriginal Dreaming. In Indonesia he witnesses the elaborate funeral of a woman who died 20 years ago and attends a sword-stabbing ritual.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  2. S1 E2 - The Far East
    January 8, 2009
    59min
    TV-PG
    In his quest to uncover the most extraordinary global rituals, Peter Owen Jones explores the exotic and inscrutable religions of the Far East. From the anarchic Buddhist Naked Man and Shinto Fire festivals in Japan, he witnesses ceremonies that are both bizarre and revered. Along the way he encounters the biggest church in the world before giving his money to a mother goddess.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  3. S1 E3 - Africa
    January 15, 2009
    59min
    TV-PG
    In the continent where all human life began, rituals are strange, grueling and deeply spiritual. Priest and writer Peter Owen Jones witnesses a Voodoo ceremony in Benin that questions his own deeply held religious convictions. In South Africa, he meets devotees who believe the world is about to come to an end, while in Ethiopia, he encounters an emotional church service that moves him to tears.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  4. S1 E4 - The Middle East
    January 22, 2009
    59min
    7+
    All the world's major religions intersect in the Middle East, often leading to rancor and conflict. But Peter Owen Jones tries to find a different side to a region scarred by religious strife. In Israel he meets African-Americans who live by the principles of the Old Testament - including polygamy. And in Iraq he tracks down the ancient Yazidi sect, who have a curious reputation for devil worship.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  5. S1 E5 - North America
    January 29, 2009
    59min
    TV-PG
    The US is considered the most religiously diverse country in the world. Peter Owen Jones encounters its extremes as he gets slightly too close to serpent handlers in the Appalachians, before taking his seat at a table-tipping seance. In Utah, he seeks out religious outlaws who take many wives, suffers in a traditional Navajo sweat lodge and visits a sect where mummification is alive and well.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  6. S1 E6 - The Indian Subcontinent
    February 5, 2009
    59min
    TV-PG
    From the Himalayas to the south of India, the religions of the subcontinent are imbued with mystery. Peter Owen Jones travels the region and takes part in a colorful Durga Puja festival before meeting the Agori who live amongst the dead. In Rajasthan he finds a Hindu sect ready to walk on fire or even die for their gurus and then encounters a dung-slinging festival - with inevitable results.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  7. S1 E7 - Latin America
    February 12, 2009
    59min
    7+
    This exploration of world faiths takes a bizarre turn in Latin America. Peter Owen Jones smokes cigars with Saint Death in Mexico, meets a terrifying underworld god in a Bolivian mine and takes a mind-expanding natural hallucinogen in the forests of Brazil. And Peter's further disturbed at a UFO-worshipping community, where he encounters a dark and frightening presence from the spirit world.
    Free trial of BBC Select
  8. S1 E8 - Europe
    February 19, 2009
    59min
    TV-PG
    Rather than being comforted by the familiar, Peter Owen Jones unearths surprising and shocking rituals in his home continent, Europe. He witnesses huge underground New Age temples in Italy, shamans in Norway, and Europe's only Buddhist republic.
    Free trial of BBC Select

Details

More info

Audio languages
English
Subtitles
English [CC]
Producers
Jean Claude Bragard
Starring
Pete Owen Jones
Studio
BBC
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