There are many awesome festivals happening all over the world, including more than a few that are slightly “out of the ordinary.” Why eat garlic or listen to music when you can chase cheese, self mutilate, or toss tuna?
Here are 15 of the weirdest festivals from around the world.
1.Vegetarian Festival, Thailand
If you’re thinking there’s great vegetarian food at this festival, you’re wrong! Yes, during the 10-day event local residents of Chinese ancestry stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making, but it is also a time of sacred rituals. These rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and include walking barefooted over hot coals and self mutilation.
2. Tunarama, Australia
Port Lincoln’s Tunarama is one of the most popular free regional festivals in Australia. Held during the Australia Day long weekend, the festival includes scenic views of Boston Bay, great seafood, and the infamous World Championship Tuna Toss competition where competitors vie to see who can toss an 8kg tuna the furthest.
3. La Tomatina, Spain
Basically a giant food fight, this festival is held in the Valencian town of Buñol. Participants throw tomatoes at each other and get involved purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August.
4. Night of the Radishes, Mexico
Lasting only a few hours, the Night of the Radishes is one of the most impressive vegetable festivals in the world attracting thousands of people to the city of Oaxaca in Mexico. During the festival Mexican craftsmen carve giant root vegetables into human figures and other objects.
5. Monkey Buffet Festival in Lop Buri, Thailand
Despite what the name suggests, the Monkey Buffet Festival is a festival, not a buffet of monkeys. Rather, it’s a buffet FOR monkeys. Monkeys are given an array of fruits and vegetables, as they are considered to be good luck.
6. Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
If you love snow scultures, this is the festival for you. This amazing event in Sapporo is held over seven days in February and features the International Snow Sculpture Contest. The main venues of the festival are Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome, which draw millions of people.
7. The Boryeong Mud Festival, Seoul, South Korea
If you’re keen for a free mud bath, Seoul is the place to go. The annual Boryeong Mud Festival takes place during the summer in Boryeong, near Seoul. The main attraction of this festival is the Mud Experience Land where mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats, trucked to the Daecheon beach area and everyone is drenched in the mineral rich mud.
8. Burning Man, United States
If you enjoy breaking boundaries and embracing self expression, this festival is for you. Held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Burning Man is an annual week-long event that is best described as an experiment in community, art, and radical self-reliance.
9. Baby-Jumping Festival, Spain
As the name suggests, this festival entails villagers of Spain’s Castrillo de Murcia taking their babies to blessing ceremonies during the annual Corpus Christi. The blessing is done by laying the babies down on a mattress while men in devil costumes jump over the babies. The blessing is for sin-cleansing, luck and good health.
10. Naked Festival (Hadaka Matsuri), Japan
Various naked festivals take place all over Japan, but the most famous one is the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri held at Saidaiji Temple in Okayama in February. Even though temperatures are freezing in Japan during the event, thousands of men still take to the streets and run in loincloths in the name of ritual purification. It’s also really fun for participants.
11. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, England
Basically this festival involves a bunch a people rolling down a hill chasing after large blocks of cheese. Oh, those crazy Brits! Held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but today people from all over the world take part.
12. Cat Food Festival, Peru
No tins of cat food are not sold at this festival. It’s much worse than that! At this annual event in Cañete, south of Lima, 50 cats are slaughtered and made into food. Schnitzel, huacatay and greaves are made from the meat of cats who are bred and fattened especially for human consumption.
13. Pamplona Bull Run, Spain
Probably one of the more dangerous festivals, the Bull Run (or Running of the Bulls) is part of the Fiesta San Fermin. A group of charging, angry bulls are released onto the main street, and (mostly crazy) participants run alongside them for over 800 metres. The runners try to avoid being knocked down, but since the festival began in 1910, nearly 300 people have been injured and 15 have died.
14. Roswell UFO Festival, United States
After an unidentified flying object crashed near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field was quoted as saying a “flying disk” had been recovered from the scene. The statement was later retracted, but many people still believe it was some kind of alien craft. Today a festival for believers is held every year. There’s a parade, people dress up in alien-like costumes, and UFO “experts” speak.
15. Turkey Testicle Festival, United States
Held in several small towns in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota and Montana, Turkey Testicle Festivals are pretty much as they sound: events where participants eat turkey testicles! The appendages are usually usually battered and fried, and sometime cattle testicles are offered as well.