Festivals across the globe are drenched in culture and steeped in tradition. Festivals are for those who have a heart and those who wish to take part in spreading joy and happiness. They give a reason for pompous celebrations, a medium of feeling attached to one’s community or religion. But there exist some festivities weird enough to whack your brains, wreck your senses and tickle your nerves. These have been celebrated across the globe in different countries since ages and have now been courageously adopted by the new generations in the name of “cultural heritage” or even “fun-filled adventure”. So here come the list of ” 10 Weirdest Festivals across the Globe”.
10. Wife Carrying Championship
This one is not just a festival, its actually a championship! Also known as the Eukonkanto in Finnish, this is an annual sports event celebrated with great enthusiasm in Finland since 1992. In this event, the husband (male) must carry a female (preferably, his wife above 17 years of age) and must cross a given hurdle track in the shortest time span in order to win. The rule is that the wife must be carried upside down, with her legs on the man’s shoulders, hanging topsy-turvy on his back and holding the man’s waist for support. The sport is believed to have originated from the tales of a thief named Herkko who along with his gang used to steal women and valuables from villages and carry them into forests. Carrying heavy weight on backs tested their endurance and strength. The sport awards the winner with the prize depending on the wife’s weight in beer!
9. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Festival
The festival takes its name from the hill where the event is held. Traditionally a 9 lb round Double Gloucester Cheese is rolled down the hill with a one-second head start and the participants follow the cheese down the hill. The first one to reach the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the event and also the 9 lb cheese!
Although the rules seem a cakewalk, the participants have been injured very badly in the past due to which the ambulances are kept ready to handle any injuries or emergencies. Moreover, the rolling cheese gathers a speed of over 100 km/hour, which is enough to injure a spectator! Although in 2013, the cheese made of foam replaced the original practice of rolling a real cheese manufactured and packed in the shape of a wheel, the event is enjoyed by enthusiastic participants from all over the world!
8. Argungu Fishing Festival
The Argungu fishing festival gets its name from the place Argungu in Nigeria, where this festival was hugely popular. This is not a mere contest to catch the maximum number of fishes but a unique challenge for the participants to catch the biggest possible fish in one hour! With the sound of a gunshot, thousands dive into the river to catch fish with old obsolete fishing tools and some with the bare hand ! The winner gets to take home a handsome amount of seventy five hundred dollars, quite a catch for just one fish !
7. Gilroy Garlic Festival
Now this one is a food festival, an art and craft bonanza and a beauty contest ! In United States, Gilroy Garlic Festival is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm (mainly by garlic lovers!). People flock to the festival grounds to enjoy garlic cuisines and garlic pageant for girls! Believe it or not, people are also served Garlic Ice-Creams! Every year more than one lakh people attend this festival and Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen is crowned. It was initially celebrated in 1979 for fund raising for various causes and since then it has been organized by NGOs to support various causes.
6. Boryeong Mud Festival
You might be shocked to know that this festival originated in 1996 in Korea to popularize the launch of cosmetics made of MUD! It is believed that the mud in Boryeong town has special minerals as well as ingredients that can help make good cosmetics and are good for the skin. Over two millions people gather together every year to soak themselves and each other in the mud pools and take a ride on the mud slides. Recently mud skiing contests have also come up! This one could remind you of the La Tomatina festival of Spain with a slight difference that mud with medicinal properties is used instead of tomatoes!
5. Night Of the Radishes
As the name suggests this festival is indeed the night of carved radishes. Celebrated in Mexico, Oaxaca City, the festival has been popular since December 23, 1897. The Mexican craftsmen carve giant radishes into various forms and put them up for display. The red radishes are specially grown for this event and allowed to remain in the ground to let them attain the largest possible size. A large exhibition, lasting for a few hours, is then held where all the participant peasants or craftsmen display their radish of various forms, faces, shapes and sizes. The whole festival is spectacular! The winner of the most beautifully carved radish gets a chance to have their photograph printed in the newspaper!
4. Battle of the Oranges
Yes, you guessed it right. This one is not just a festival it is actually the enactment of a real battle with real fighters and real victory! This is by far, the largest food fight in the whole of Italy. The festival is celebrated to commemorate brave girl Violetta, who is believed to have been attempted to be raped on her wedding eve. She valiantly fought the rich aristocrat and chopped his head off and the crowd, in anger for the man’s wrongdoing, burned down his palace. Every year people organize themselves into groups and a young brave girl is selected to play the part of Violetta. All the townsfolk can either participate in throwing oranges (to represent stones) at the opposing teams or they can enjoy the festival from behind the curtains at a safe distance. Not to forget, though the festival is lots of fun, but the oranges, when hit from a distance can cause injuries and can hurt a lot, hence, people with children specifically choose to be spectators to the valiant orange battles and spectacular celebrations thereafter.
3. Eeyore’s Birthday
You might be puzzled to know who Eeyore is. He is the always sad donkey from the famous cartoon Winnie the Pooh. 5t began in 1963 as a college students’ party but gained popularity as the hippies started participating and annually celebrating the party with lots of food and drinks in Austin. What is more surprising is the fact that Eeyore’s Birthday Party is not even celebrated on the cartoon character’s actual birthday! The party is attended by thousands for the programmes of dance, music and family games.
2. Baby Jumping Festival
This one might leave you in shudders but it is a very famous festival in Spain. In this festival the newborn babies (born in past twelve months) are laid on mattresses on the streets. Men dressed as devils jump over the babies. This is in fact a dangerous celebration but the people believe that by jumping over their babies, the devil will relieve them of any sickness or hardships in life and free them of sin. Surprisingly, not even a single child has been injured till now during any of the festivities!
1. Near Death Festival
Ever thought about celebrating anything related to DEATH? Well, once again, Spain has made it to being the weirdest when it comes to festivals. The people of Las Nieves in Galacia, Spain still believe in witches and supernatural powers. They come together to celebrate the Near Death Festival every twenty ninth of July. People who have escaped death by a hairline difference, in the past twelve months are put into open coffins and rallied around the town to celebrate their escape from death and the new lease of life after any near-death experience. This is followed by the RESURRECTED people telling their stories and then indulging in festivities with all the people!