10 Bizarre Festivals From Around the World

By Zainab Reza on July 28 2017 in Travel

Editorial credit: Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com. La tomatina, the famous tomato food fight held annually in Spain, is arguably one of the world's stranger festivals.
Editorial credit: Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com. La tomatina, the famous tomato food fight held annually in Spain, is arguably one of the world's stranger festivals.

People say there’s something for everyone in this world. If truth be told, the same can be said for festivals held around the world – there’s one for everyone no matter the personal taste. If you want to have the time of your life, and being part of the oddest, craziest festivals is on your to-do list, then here’s a look in to 10 of the most bizarre festivals from around the world.

10. Burning Man Festival - USA

The site of the Burning Man Festival when not in use.
The site of the Burning Man Festival when not in use.

Burning Man is an annual gathering held at Black Rock City, in Nevada, USA. It was inaugurated thirty years ago on June 21, 1986. Its venue, Black Rock City, is a temporary city that is erected each year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. So what makes the festival so bizarre? Well, this week-long festival is basically meant to help adults express themselves without having to worry about societal constraints. In this festival, the community comes together to explore artistic self-expression while focusing on the pleasure of all its participants. The most bizarre part is the end of the festival in which the Man himself, which is a huge structure that takes on a different form each year, is burnt, giving the festival quite the grand finale.

9. Battle of the Oranges - Italy

Editorial credit: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock.com.
Editorial credit: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock.com.

The Battles of the Oranges is held in Ivrea, Italy every year. What makes this festival so bizarre is the fact that it involves organized groups throwing oranges at one another. The festival is considered to be the largest food fight held in all of Italy. Thousands of people are divided into nine combat teams. The teams then throw oranges at one another in homage to the civil war that took place between the Royal Napoleonic Troops and the people of Ivrea upon the murder of the tyrant Raineri de Biandrate. The three-day festival is held in February and a solemn funeral is held at the night of Shrove Tuesday as it comes to an end.

8. Air Guitar World Championships - Finland

The Air Guitar World Championship has been part of the Oulu Music Video Festival held in Oulu, Finland since 1996. It is a four day competition meant to promote peace in the world. The contest initially had started out as a joke, and was meant to be a mere side attraction at the music video festival. However, it received immense attention and appreciation and has grown into a competition that receives world-wideattention. Just the core of the competition, air guitaring, is what makes it bizarre. Who would want to be part of a four-day competition dedicated to air guitaring? Apparently, thousands of people from different parts of the world!

7. Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling

Editorial credit: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com.
Editorial credit: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com.

This annual event is held at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in the Cotswold region of England on the Spring Bank Holiday. Back in the day, only local villagers of Brockworth participated in it, but now, thousands of people from around the world become part of it. In the event, a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill, and participants have to race down the hill after it. The first person to reach the bottom of the hill is awarded the cheese.

6. Boryeong Mud Festival - South Korea

The annual mud Boryeong festival is held in Boryeong, South Korea during the summers, and attracts up to 2 million visitors per year. It first started in 1998 and allows people to have fun in mud slides, mud pools, a mud prison and even features a mud skiing competition – all so people can havebetter skin due to the high mineral content of the mud.

5. Baby Jumping Fiesta - Spain

This festival is held in Spain and dates back to the year 1620. The act, which is known as "El Salto del Colacho" (The Devil’s Jump), involves men jumping over babies who were born during the last year. The men are dressed as the Devil and the babies are placed on mattresses in the street. Counted amongst the most dangerous festivals in the world, its origins remain unknown. However, the festival is said to cleanse the babies of sins and guards them against evil spirits and illnesses in life.

4. La Tomatina - Spain

Editorial credit: Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com.
Editorial credit: Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com.

Held in Bunol, Spain on the last Wednesday of August each year, this festival is the largest food fight in the world. There are a few activities organized by the festival, including parades, cooking contests and much more. However, the highlight of the festival is the food fight that lasts for one hour between 20,000 people.

3. Cheung Chau Bun Festival - Hong Kong

A traditional Chinese festival held in April/May each year, this festival features men racing up a 60ft tower made of edible buns and bamboo. Their goal is to grab the buns placed on the top of the tower. The higher the bun is placed, the more the fortune it will bring to the participant and his family. At first, only local villagers used to take part in this bun snatching race, but now, the festival attracts up to 70, 000 people a year.

2. Monkey Buffet Festival - Thailand

Although it may seem like the name implies as such, this festival does NOT involve monkeys being served as a buffet. In fact, it’s the other way around as a five-star buffet meal is served to the local monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand. The festival is held every November and involves about 4,000 kg of sweets, bananas, cakes and apples laid out for the local monkeys to devour.

1. Night of the Radishes - Mexico

The radish isn’t on everyone’s list of favorite vegetables - however, it seems to be a major hit in Oaxaca, Mexico. The people of this Mexican city hold this festival every year on the 23rd of December. In the festival, all sorts of sculptures are carved out of the vegetables. The festival was initiated back in 1987. Those with the best radish sculptures are awarded prizes.

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