The World’s Most Bizarre Festivals
If you’re looking for something a little different on your next getaway, why not time it to coincide with one of the world’s most bizarre festivals? From mud-slinging competitions to monkey tea parties and alien spotting, here’s a list of quirky, mind-boggling festivities to enjoy across the world.
Boryeong Mud Festival, Korea
The story of the ‘mud’ festival, goes something like this – to extol the virtues of the cosmetic mud industry, try mud wrestling, mud sliding and mud massages with thousands of other tourists on the beach in Boryeong city, South Korea.
You’ll be helping to boost the local economy, your skin will love you for it and you can get as dirty as you’ve ever wanted to be. This year, stay for the week, from July 17 to July 26, for music, fireworks, festivities and all round mud-slinging fun.
La Tomatina, Spain
The world’s ultimate food fight, La Tomatina, has been a tradition in Bunol, Valencia, since 1945. Trucks haul overripe tomatoes into Plaza del Pueblo in the centre of town and, as water canons signal the start of the fight, it’s quite simply everyman for himself! With over 20 000 people hurling tomatoes, it’s best to wear goggles, your oldest, daggiest gear and maybe even a helmet. Start training now, for the food fight battle on August 26, 2015.
Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand
It’s all about the monkeys in the Lop Buri provence, Thailand, each November. A feast for kings is set up outside temples at the Khmer ruins to the great delight of thousands of monkeys who live in the area.
It’s believed to be good luck to be kind to the monkeys, plus, you can dress up like a monkey, buy monkey sculptures and join the monkey’s tea party. You can stay in Lop Buri or travel there on a day-trip from Bangkok. The 2015 festival is on from the 28th – 29th of November.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, England
Fancy barrelling down a hill, chasing after a gigantic round of Double Gloucester cheese? You can do so on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester. Entertaining to watch and dangerous to compete in, all you need to do is show up and join in. Due to previous ‘cheese chasing’ induced injuries, the festival is now ‘unofficial’, but it’s still going strong. It’s expected to launch on May 25th for 2015.
Baby Jumping Festival, Spain
El Salto de Colacho, or ‘the devil’s leap’ is an annual baby jumping festival in the village of Castrillo de Mucia to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi. Babies are laid on mattresses on the ground and strewn with rose petals to await grown men, dressed as devils, to jump over them and cleanse them of evil doings. This year, you can view this astounding spectacle on Sunday, June 7th.
Roswell UFO Festival, USA
If you love to delve into extraterrestrial life, flying saucers and government conspiracies, head over to Roswell, New Mexico this year for presentations, workshops and discussions sure to excite science fiction fans. You can dress up like an alien and, the organisers are predicting, perhaps even meet one, from the 3rd to the 5th of July, 2015.
Hadaki Matsuri Festival, Japan
Nearly 10 000 men dress in Japanese loincloths for Okayama’s annual ‘Naked Festival’ at Saidaiji Temple. The aim of the game is to catch lucky talismans that are thrown into the crowd by priests, bestowing good luck on the winner for a year.
The festival takes place in February, during the cold season and the men are first purified with cold water. If you’re still thinking you’d like to join in, you can buy a kit including a loin cloth, complete with the services of a professional ‘loin cloth wrapper’.
Image source: popularfestivals.com
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