Top 5 Weirdest Festivals In The World

Top 5 Weirdest Festivals In The World

The World’s Wackiest Celebrations

If you think you’ve seen it all, these top five weirdest festivals in the world will make you think again. From food fights to launching rockets from the nether regions, these celebrations are anything but ordinary. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just a wild time, these festivals are sure to deliver.

1. La Tomatina: The Messiest Food Fight You’ll Ever See 🍅

In the little Spanish town of Buñol, every year on the last Wednesday in August, over 40,000 people gather to throw tomatoes at each other. The festival, which started in 1945, is a giant tomato fight that lasts for an hour and leaves the streets of the town covered in a sea of red.

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What’s the story behind La Tomatina?

The festival actually started as a fight between two friends who were participating in a parade. The argument turned into a tomato fight, and the rest is history. The town loved the chaos so much that they decided to make it a tradition.

What should I wear to La Tomatina?

Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting stained or ruined, and closed-toe shoes that you can easily clean off. And don’t forget to bring goggles to protect your eyes from flying tomatoes!

2. El Colacho: Baby Jumping Festival 🚼

In the village of Castrillo de Murcia in Spain, every year on the feast of Corpus Christi, men dressed as devils jump over babies born in the last twelve months. The festival, which dates back to the 1600s, is thought to cleanse the babies of sin and protect them from evil spirits.

What’s the story behind El Colacho?

The festival is a mix of Catholic and pagan traditions. The devils represent the forces of evil, while the babies represent the innocent. The jumping is supposed to purify the babies and ward off evil spirits.

Is it safe for the babies?

The babies are placed on mattresses in the street, and the men jumping over them are professionals who have trained for months. No baby has ever been hurt during El Colacho.

3. Boryeong Mud Festival: The Ultimate Spa Treatment 🧖

Every year in July, the South Korean town of Boryeong hosts a week-long mud festival. Visitors come from all over the world to cover themselves in mud, take mud baths, and race through muddy obstacle courses.

What’s the story behind the Boryeong Mud Festival?

The festival was started in 1998 as a way to promote the town’s mineral-rich mud. It has since become an international sensation, attracting over two million visitors every year.

Is the mud safe?

The mud used in the festival is harvested from the Boryeong mud flats and is rich in minerals like germanium and bentonite. It’s safe to use on your skin and is even said to have healing properties.

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4. Kanamara Matsuri: The Penis Festival 🍆

Every year on the first Sunday in April, the Kanayama shrine in Kawasaki, Japan hosts the Kanamara Matsuri, or “Festival of the Steel Phallus.” The festival celebrates fertility and is centered around a giant pink penis parade float.

What’s the story behind the Kanamara Matsuri?

The festival dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when prostitutes would come to the Kanayama shrine to pray for protection against sexually transmitted infections. The shrine became associated with fertility and childbirth, and the festival evolved over time to celebrate those themes.

Is the festival just for shock value?

While the parade float is certainly attention-grabbing, the festival has a serious purpose. The shrine raises money for HIV research and for the treatment of sexual health issues in Japan.

5. Up Helly Aa: Viking Fire Festival 🔥

Every year on the last Tuesday in January, the town of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands of Scotland celebrates Up Helly Aa, a festival that pays tribute to the island’s Viking heritage. The festival culminates in the burning of a Viking longship.

What’s the story behind Up Helly Aa?

The festival has its roots in the Viking tradition of Yule, which celebrated the winter solstice. The modern festival dates back to the late 1800s and has evolved over time to include the burning of the longship.

Is it dangerous?

The organizers take safety very seriously, and the burning is done in a controlled environment with plenty of safety measures in place. No one has ever been injured during Up Helly Aa.

These are just a few of the many weird and wonderful festivals that take place around the world. Whether you’re looking for a food fight, a baby jumping contest, or a Viking bonfire, there’s something out there for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the wacky side of global culture.

FAQ

Q: Are these festivals safe for tourists?

A: While some of these festivals may seem dangerous, the organizers take safety very seriously and provide plenty of precautions to keep participants and spectators safe. As with any travel, it’s important to take common sense precautions and follow local customs and laws.

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Q: Do I need to speak the local language to participate in these festivals?

A: While it’s always helpful to know a few words of the local language, most of these festivals are very inclusive and attract participants from all over the world. Don’t let language barriers stop you from experiencing something new.

Q: Can children participate in these festivals?

A: It depends on the festival. Some, like La Tomatina and the Boryeong Mud Festival, are family-friendly and welcome children. Others, like El Colacho and the Kanamara Matsuri, may not be appropriate for kids. Check with the festival organizers before bringing children.

Q: Are these festivals expensive to attend?

A: It depends on the festival and your travel arrangements. Some festivals, like La Tomatina, require tickets that can be expensive, while others, like Up Helly Aa, are free to attend. Travel costs will also vary depending on your location and how far you need to travel.

Q: Can I take pictures at these festivals?

A: In most cases, yes. However, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Some festivals may have restrictions on photography, so it’s always a good idea to check with the organizers before snapping pictures.

Q: Do I need to bring anything with me to these festivals?

A: It depends on the festival. Some, like La Tomatina and the Boryeong Mud Festival, require specific clothing or gear, while others have no specific requirements. Check with the festival organizers before you go to see if there’s anything you need to bring.

Q: Are there any health risks associated with these festivals?

A: As with any large gathering, there’s always a risk of illness or injury. It’s important to take common sense precautions, like washing your hands and staying hydrated, to minimize the risk of getting sick.

Q: Can I participate in more than one festival?

A: Absolutely! Many of these festivals take place at different times of the year, so it’s possible to attend more than one. Just make sure you plan your travel and accommodations accordingly.

Q: Are these festivals accessible for people with disabilities?

A: It depends on the festival and the individual’s specific needs. Some festivals may have accessibility barriers, while others are designed to be inclusive. If you have specific needs, it’s a good idea to check with the festival organizers before you go to see if they can accommodate you.

Q: Can I bring my own food and drinks to these festivals?

A: Check with the festival organizers before bringing your own food or drinks. Some festivals have strict rules about outside food and drink, while others may allow it.

Q: What’s the best way to get to these festivals?

A: It depends on the festival and your location. Some festivals are easily accessible by public transportation, while others may require a rental car or private transportation. Check with the festival organizers for the best way to get there.

Q: Can I bring my pets to these festivals?

A: It depends on the festival and the specific rules of the venue. Check with the festival organizers before bringing your pet to see if they’re allowed.

Q: What should I do if I get lost or separated from my group?