Travel Planning Made Simple. Create Your Own Itinerary.
Written by rohini on May 9, 2016 Share on

15 Crazy festivals that you should know about

Life gets boring when everything happens just the way it should. When everything seems monotonous and dull, we all crave for something different to spice things up, don’t we? How about these crazy festivals of the world? Read on to find out about some crazy stuff that happens in the name of festivals.

1. Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri, Japan – Third Saturday of February

This event involves around 9000 nearly naked men, wearing only loincloths, fiercely competing with each other to catch hold of a pair wooden sticks and thrust them into a box filled with rice, which is believed to give them a year of luck. This event was introduced around 500 years back when worshipers competed to win paper talismans thrown by the priest. It was seen that good things were happening to those who won and therefore more people started competing. Since paper could be easily torn, it was replaced with the wooden sticks.

Image Credit : breathofwisdom

2.  Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand – Last Sunday of November

The Festival, originally invented in 1989 to boost tourism, has been held yearly in the Lopburi province ever since. The buffet consisting of 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, cakes and candies is set down in front of temples for the 3000 monkeys living in the area. Monkey sculptures, and dance and music by young people in monkey-like costumes add to the excitement. Monkeys climbing up on people, pulling their hair and snatching away food items are a common sight at this festival. Nevertheless, this event is a tourist magnet.

Image Credit : yuuma7

3. Festival Gastronomico del Gato (Cat Eating Festival), Peru – Third weekend of September

The Gastronomic Festival of the Cat was held in the town of La Quebrada every year where various dishes made of cat meat were sold in stalls, with grilled cat and spicy cat stew being most popular. This festival was held in honour of the settlers of the town, who had to survive off cats in the early years. However, after a lot of protest from animal rights activists, this festival was banned.

Image Credit : catingtonpost

4. El Salto del Colacho (Baby Jumping Festival), Spain – First Sunday after Corpus Christi

This festival, dating back to at least the 1600s takes place annually in Burgos. During the festival, babies born in the past year are placed, spaced out in neatly arranged mattresses on a public street and men dressed as the devil (Colacho) in red and yellow jumpsuits holding whips run through the street, jumping over the babies. This act is believed to cleanse the new born babies off their sins and protect them from evil spirits. Though this tradition is not appreciated by many in the world, it continues till date.

El_Colacho_2014_Nick_Gammon - 12
Image Credit : fest300

5. Festa del Cornuto (Festival of the Horns), Italy – Second Saturday of November

This festival is held as a consolation to those who have been cheated on by their partners in the town of Rocca Canterano. The betrayed individuals march through the streets wearing horned helmets, sometimes crying and breaking things that symbolize their failed relationship. In Italian culture, the horns represent a person who has been cheated on, which originated from the olden days when successful warriors who were presented with horns discovered that they were betrayed by their wives on returning home from a long battle.

Image Credit : parolacce

6. Roswell UFO Festival, New Mexico – July

The Roswell UFO Festival is held every year to remember the day when aliens touched the Earth. It is believed that a UFO(Unidentified Flying Object) crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and some reports even say that alien bodies were found near the site. This incident is one of the most debated incidents in the world. However, since then, the UFO festival has been conducted every year in the month of July which includes alien puppet shows, UFO Parades, concerts, special exhibits and speeches by experts. The festival is enjoyed by all, irrespective of whether they believe in UFOs or not.

Image Credit : 5ensesmag

7. World Bog Snorkelling Championships, Wales – August

This sporting event was originally started as a charity event in 1985. Competitors are expected to snorkel through a stretch of muddy water in the shortest time possible. Though this isn’t as easy as it seems, many people from around the world participate with excitement every year and it was recently included in the World Alternative Games – a list of unusual games.

Image Credit : walesonline

8. World Toe Wrestling Championships, UK – June

This was invented in an attempt to create a game in which only England could win. It is very similar to arm wrestling, but with toes, where two opponents interlock their toes and attempt to pin down the other person’s foot for a minimum of three seconds.

Image Credit : thesportbible

9. La Tomatina, Spain – Last Wednesday of August

This festival originated in August 1945 in the town of Buñol when an infuriated person who fell off a float in a parade, started throwing vegetables from a nearby market stall. This turned out to be a tomato fight. Since then, the Buñol residents re-created the fight every year. The police tried to stop it but because of the increasing popularity, it became official in 1957 with certain rules and regulations. The fight lasts for one hour when people throw squashed tomatoes at each other and the entire town square gets filled with tomato paste after which fire trucks come in to clean the streets.

BUNOL, SPAIN - AUGUST 26: Revellers pelt each other with tomatoe pulp during the world's biggest tomato fight at La Tomatina festival on August 26, 2009 in Bunol, Spain. More than 45000 people from all over the world descended on the small Valencian town to participate in this year's La Tomatina festival, with the local town hall estimating that over 100 tons of rotten and over-ripe tomatoes were thrown. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Image Credit : popsugar

10. Wife Carrying World Championships, Finland – First Saturday of July

Wife carrying World Championships are being held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland since 1992 where male participants compete, with each carrying a female teammate, to complete the given obstacles in the least time. Along with the couple that completes the obstacles the fastest, the most entertaining couple, the best costume, and the strongest carrier are also presented with a special prize. The event has gained popularity over the years and is now practiced in many places like Australia, the United States of America, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom and has a category in the Guinness Book of Records.

Image Credit : metro

11. Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea – July

This festival is similar to Holi, except that they use mud instead of colours. The festival emerged in 1998 in an attempt to promote the mineral-rich mud found near Boryeong which was used in cosmetics. It soon gained popularity and grew to be a fun-filled event that everyone looked forward to every summer. Various attractions on the seafront during the festival include a mud pool, mud slides, mud prison and mud skiing competitions. Coloured mud is available for body painting, market stalls sell mud cosmetics and beauty clinics provide massages and other treatments with the beneficial properties of the mud. The festival comes to a grand close with the display of fireworks.

Image Credit : wikimediacommons

12. Flaming Tar Barrels, England – November 5

This event happens yearly in the town of Ottery St. Mary in Devon. The day starts with the firing of rock cannon which continues throughout the day. Men, women and children set light to wooden barrels lined with tar, and run through the streets with them on their heads. The aim is to carry them as close as possible to the town bonfire before they become too hot to carry or crumble to pieces due of the fire. This dangerous event ends with the massive display of fireworks.

Image Credit : flickriver

13. Underwater Music Festival, Florida – July

This festival, usually happening in the month of July every year is held to raise awareness for coral preservation. It happens underwater at the Looe Key Reef, part of the only living coral barrier reef in North America. A pre-selected radio playlist is streamed live from underwater speakers and musician-divers play instruments that are specially created. Since sound travels much faster in water than in air, the resulting sound is described as being ethereal. The playlist is broadcast on the radio which also gives information on ways divers and snorkelers can minimize impacts on the marine environment.

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Jeff Wright, costumed as a seahorse, rocks with a fake guitar, Saturday, July 11, 2015, during the Underwater Music Festival in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Big Pine Key, Fla. The annual event attracted hundreds of divers and snorkelers who listened to a local radio station's four-hour broadcast piped beneath the sea via underwater speakers, featuring music programmed for the subsea listening experience as well as coral reef conservation messages. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)
Image Credit : wtop

14. International Hair Freezing Contest, Canada – February

As the name suggests, this is a contest where people are required to freeze their hair in different shapes. It happens yearly during the coldest days, usually in February in the Takhini Hot Springs near Yukon in Canada. It is not only a fun event but also creates publicity for the hot springs. The participants dip their hair in the hot pool  and then let the cold air above freeze it, while moulding it into creative shapes. The competitors then click pictures and the top three pictures are chosen in the month of March, who are presented with prizes. However, the event did not take place in 2016 because of the comparatively warm winter.

Image Credit : takhinihotsprings

15. Moose Dropping Festival, Alaska – July

Yes, you read it right. This is an event that involves celebrations using moose droppings. It was initiated in Talkeetna in 1972 in an attempt to boost tourism using animal themed festivals. The moose droppings were used for many games and events like the moose nugget tossing contest and mountain mother contest and to make jewellery and other decorative items. Not just that, but the droppings were dropped onto targets from helicopters or balloons and people placed bets on where they might fall! The festival grew popular over the years and there were so many tourists in the small town in 2009 that it was decided to be cancelled from the next year. However, it resurfaced in 2013 with events being spread out throughout the year.

Image Credit : thewinkingmoose

Did the article make you want to visit the places that host such crazy events? Maybe it triggered a slight interest in you to take part in few? (admit it) Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just drop us a Postcard and we will build you the perfect vacation to your desired destination!

Related Itineraries

Note: The images that are being published here are the author's choice, and the organisation takes no responsibility for their usability.

1 comment