Festivals are a way for the community to come together and celebrate their shared culture and interests.
It’s also a way for outsiders to experience a part of the unique local culture. If you’re a fan of extraordinary adventures, here are 10 festivals around the world which are fun yet entirely bizarre. Like, seriously bizarre.
Be prepared to get culture-shocked!
If you love tomatoes, this festival in the small town on Bunyol in Spain is sure to catch your fancy. Every year, thousands gather to have the biggest tomato street fight in the world, where people get prepared to smash tomatoes on their friends and loved ones, soaking the town in bright red tomato juice.
I don’t know if they eat the tomatoes after that…or maybe that’s where our ketchup comes from?
This Japanese festival is definitely not for the more conservative-minded as it celebrates the male genitalia in a very obvious way, by parading large wooden models of it through the streets. There are also candy, carved vegetables , illustrations and various other merchandise sold that pays homage to the male member.
Cooper ‘s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake
Sometimes, you just need to roll cheese down a hill and chase after it to destress, and that’s what the folks in Gloucester do once a year. Needless to say, the downhill chase goes awry for many of the participants and they have to be carted off to the hospital once they reach the bottom. The good news is, the first person past the finished line wins the cheese as his or her prize.
The Running of the Bulls
Spain seems to be full of extraordinary festivals and the Pamplona Bull run is no exception. Here, grown men volunteer to run down the street while being chased by angry bulls. Needless to say, this is a rather dangerous event: nearly 300 people have been injured and up to 13 killed in this festival.
Boryeong Mud Festival
South Koreans swear so much by the medicinal and health benefits of the mud at Boryeong that they have dedicated an entire festival to it. The highlight of the whole event is a mud bath for visitors on Daecheon beach where truckloads of mud are dumped there to make a mud pool for a variety of activities. Sounds fun?
Here’s another dangerous festival in Spain, and this time it involves grown men dressed as the devil jumping over babies who are less than a year old. The helpless infants are laid in a row on the ground and then the men take turns to leap over them, supposedly cleansing the town of evil for another year.
Look at how scared the babies are, no?
Festa Del Cornuto
The festival of horns is celebrated in Rocca Canterano , a city near Rome and honours men who have been cheated on by their partners. They parade the streets wearing horns, and often weep or break gifts from ex-wives or lovers to signify their anger and grief.
Wife Carrying Championship
Want to watch a marathon with a difference? Well, in Finland you can. In this race, male participants cover more than 250 km in an obstacle-filled course, all the while carrying their spouses on their backs. Participants come from all over the world and it’s a thoroughly legit sport.
Burning man is an experimental art festival where about 50,000 people gather in the Nevada desert over a period of one week. Themes include creative innovations that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, as well as rich is a self expression. The highlight of this festival is the burning of a giant effigy that usually signifies the end of the festival.
World Bog Snorkeling Championship
This race takes place in Wales, UK every year and participants dress up in interesting costumes to wade through trenches of thick bog so as to be the fastest bog wader. In recent years, this race has helped raise awareness on environmental preservation issues too. Pretty lit!