It’s said that there is someone for everyone, and maybe the same could be said about festivals. If you want to have a real great time, if plunging into the world’s odd and wacky is your flavor, then check out these bizarre celebrations around the world. You wouldn’t believe what some people do for fun. At TrendingPost we bring you the 30 most bizarre festivals in the world that you wouldn’t want to miss.
1. La Tomatina (Spain)
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.
2. Boryeong Mud Festival (South Korea)
The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in Boryeong, a town south of Seoul, South Korea. For the period of the festival several large attractions are erected in the seafront area of Daecheon. These include a mud pool, mud slides, mud prison and mud skiing competitions. Colored mud is also produced for body painting. A large stage is erected on the beach, which is used for live music, competitions and various other visual attractions.
3. Thaipusam (India)
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common, and this is why it makes it to our list of most bizarre festivals in the world that you wouldn’t want to miss.
4. The Songkran festival (Thailand)
The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April. the world’s largest water gun fight takes place in the country of Thailand. And no, it’s not just some small isolated village. We’re talking about an entire country drowning itself with supersoakers. But the fun isn’t limited to water guns, as some people prefer buckets or even elephants.
5. The Monkey Buffet Festival (Thailand)
The Monkey Buffet Festival is held annually in Thailand to promote tourism. The festival was described as one of the strangest festivals by London’s The Guardian newspaper.
6. Pulikali (India)
Pulikali is a colorful recreational folk art from the state of Kerala, India. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival.
7. Konaki Sumo (Japan)
Once again we find ourselves in Japan, and once again the Japanese have managed to outdo themselves. This time the festival involves two things – sumo wrestlers and lots and lots of babies. Every April the wrestlers face off while holding the babies to see who’s will cry first. May the man with the most baby friendly hands win.
8. Burning Tar Barrel Festival
The Tar Barrel tradition is hundreds of years old. The exact origins are unknown but probably started after the gunpowder plot of 1605. The West Country has a history of torchlight processions and burning barrels and Ottery was only one of the many towns and villages following an annual tradition containing barrels which were rolled in the streets on November 5th each year. Somewhere along the line someone decided rolling was tame and carrying barrels on your shoulders was far more appealing and so the present tradition was born and now Ottery is the only Town in the country carrying full sized lighted tar barrels through the streets.
9. Frozen Dead Guy Days (USA)
Frozen Dead Guy Days (started 2002) is an annual celebration held in the town of Nederland, Colorado, to loosely celebrate, through a theme of frozen/ice/blue/winter, the 1994 discovery of the cryonic state corpse of Bredo Morstel.
10. Holi (India)
Holi is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight.
11. Tunarama Festival (Australia)
Port Lincoln is home to the Tunarama Festival, held every January. This family event showcases the best in local seafood, wine, art and music – and includes the famous tuna tossing championships.
12. Cheese Rolling Festival (England)
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England. From the top of the hill a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors race down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.
13. Argungu Fishing Festival
The Argungu Fishing Festival is an annual four-day festival in north-western Nigerian state of Kebbi. On the final day of the festival, a competition is held in which thousands of men and women line up along the river and at the sound of a gunshot, all of them jump into the river and have an hour to catch the largest fish. The winner can take home as much as 7,500 US dollars. Competitors are only allowed to use traditional fishing tools and many prefer to catch fish entirely by hand to demonstrate their prowess.
14. Hadaka Matsuri (Japan)
When it comes to strange festivals it’s pretty hard to beat the Japanese. A Hadaka Matsuri “Naked Festival” is a type of Japanese festival, or matsuri, in which participants wear a minimum amount of clothing; usually just a Japanese loincloth (called fundoshi), sometimes with a short happi coat, and rarely completely naked.
15. Entroida or Carnival in Galicia – (Spain)
Entroido is celebrated throughout Galicia, during the month of Febuary. It’s believed to have pagan origins and it represents the end of winter. During Entroido there are a number of different daily activities that involve parades, mud and flour fights, and dressing up in costumes.
16. Up Helly AA (Scotland)
Up Helly Aa refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland, in Scotland, annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.
17. Las Bolas De Fuego “Balls of Fire” (El Salvador)
One of the major traditions of Nejapa is Las Bolas De Fuego (“Balls of Fire”), celebrated August 31st. Around the turn of the 20th century a volcano almost completely destroyed the small town of Nejapa. Every year since then residents have gathered together in the town square for very a appropriately themed celebration consisting of throwing flaming rags at one another. Makes the fire ants and tomatos look a little more appealing doesn’t it?
18. The Running of the Bulls (Spain)
The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group of bulls (typically a dozen) that have been let loose on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town’s streets. The most famous running of the bulls is that of the eight-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona, although they are held in towns and villages across Spain, Portugal, in some cities in Mexico.
19. La Pourcailhade or The Festival of the Pig (France)
Also known as La Fete du Cochon the pig festival is held each year in August in the town of Trie-sur-Baïse, in south-western France. The festival involves displays, pig races, eating contests and other competitions.
20. The Near-Death Festival (Spain)
Held on 29th of July every year in the tiny village of Las Nieves in Pontevedra, Galacia, Spain, the Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme is a celebration amongst the people who have had near death experiences in the past twelve months, who gather before the Church of Saint Martha, the patron saint of resurrection, and thank him for saving their lives. But here is the morbid part- the so called celebrants, who have had their experiences with death, get to attend the festival in coffins!
21. El Colacho (Spain)
Baby jumping (El Colacho) is a traditional Spanish holiday dating back to 1620 that takes place annually to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos. During the act, known as El Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho, men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) jump over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street.
22. Turkey Testicle Festival (USA)
A Testicle Festival is an event held at several small towns in which the featured activity is the consumption of animal testicles, usually battered and fried. The oldest such festival takes place in Byron, Illinois, and features turkey testicles.
23. Karni Mata Festival (India)
This festival is celebrated twice a year in honor of Godness Karni Mata in the little desert citadel of Deshnoke, Bikaner in Rajasthan. Thousands of devotees flock at Deshnoke during the time of Navratras, in April/May and October/November and the celebration is on the on the ninth day of Navratras. Believers offer food to the deity and among continuous chants of hymns and prayers, pujas are performed. The believers consider its auspicious to consume what the holy rats have salivated over and letting them scamper over your feet is believed to bring good luck.
24. Goat Tossing Festival (Spain)
Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January, Goat throwing was a festival in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, province of Zamora, Spain where a group of young men threw a live goat from the top of a church. A crowd below would then catch the falling goat with a canvas sheet.
25. Kanamara Matsuri (Japan)
Every year, people from the town of Kawasaki in Japan take part in a festival, The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.
26. The Redneck Games (USA)
The Redneck Games are held in East Dublin, Georgia annually. The games were started by Elbow, a local person who was the general manager of radio station WQZY-FM “Y96”. In 1996 when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, some locals took offense to the fact that the international media portrayed them as a “bunch of rednecks holding a sporting event.” As a result they ended up doing just that. Some of the events include toilet seat throwing, hubcap hurling, and the armpit serenade.
27. Goose Pulling Festival
Goose pulling was a blood sport practiced in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, England and North America from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The sport involved fastening a live goose with a well-greased head to a rope or pole that was stretched across a road. A man riding on horseback at a full gallop would attempt to grab the bird by the neck in order to pull the head off.
28. Roswell UFO Festival (USA)
The Roswell UFO incident, also known as Roswell, was a report of an object that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. To celebrate their belief that aliens have landed on earth in the city of Roswell, there is an annual parade where patrons can dress up in alien-like costumes and attend brief conferences given by alien experts and authors. However, these alien activists don’t discriminate. Non-believers of the alien theory are also welcome to enjoy the festivities and dress up.
29. Moose Dropping Festival (USA)
In celebration of the state’s official animal, the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna holds an annual festival in which the highlight involves dropping loads of moose poop onto targets from hot air balloons. We kid you not.
30. The Night of the Radishes (Mexico)
The Night of the Radishes is celebrated every year on December 23 and it began in 1897 in the “zócalo” of Oaxaca city. It is one of the most impressive vegetable festivals around the world. Mexican craftsmen carve giant root vegetables into human figures and other vivid forms.