In a world rich with culture, there are countless traditions and festivals that we have yet to experience. From Scandinavia to the depths of Asia, we explore the world’s weirdest festivals that people partake in annually.
Though they may seem bizarre, they’re part of what makes the given culture distinct. Each tradition is linked to a deep history that is preserved with the festivals coming alive each year.
Today, we explore these unique and eye-opening festivals that are bound to be added to your bucket list in life.
1. La Tomatina, Spain.
The “world’s biggest food fight” is in Bunol, Spain, where thousands of people gather to launch squashed tomatoes at one another. The rules ensure that it’s a respectful environment, where nobody gets hurt.
2. Burning Man, USA.
For 8 days in the Black Rock Desert, people gather to enjoy a festival of art, freedom, and self-reliance. In this spiritual experience, people forget about their everyday living and form a new, developed society of fresh principles and values.
3. Battle Of The Oranges, Italy.
In Ivrea, Italy, is a food fight that involves chucking oranges at opposing teams. The winning team is decided by a judge and ultimately honored by the town. Helmets are required, as the oranges become a safety hazard.
4. Day Of Silence, Bali.
The island of Bali welcomes the new year with peace and calmness. Fire, travel, and entertainment are forbidden. Traffic and electricity are shut down for 24 hours, to allow self-reflection and meditation.
5. Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand.
In Thailand, 4,000 kilos of dishes are served at a temple for thousands of monkeys. This is to honor them, as they are said to bring good luck. “The City of Monkeys” ensures each monkey is fed and treated well.
6. El Colacho: Baby Jumping Festival, Spain.
The Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia gathers each year where men dressed as devils jump over one-year-old babies; a ritual to protect them from bad luck, and rid them of sin.
7. Thaipusam, the Hindu Piercing Festival.
In Malaysia and Singapore, Hindus pierce their whole bodies to show devotion to religion and cleanse their sins. More than one million people take part annually.
8. Pikachu Festival, Japan.
The famous cartoon character is the subject of a parade where over 1,000 performers take the streets dressed as Pikachu. Fans show their devotion each year in Yokohama, Japan.
9. Boryeong Mud Festival, Korea.
Attracting the largest amount of international visitors as far as Korean festivals, this mud mania includes obstacles, slides, wrestling, and even a mud bath, all coming together for an electric atmosphere.
10. The Songkran Festival, Thailand.
Welcome to the world’s biggest water gun fight. The entire country aims super soakers at each other to bring in the new year, some even using buckets or elephants.
11. Festival of Holi, India.
The people of India are engulfed with colored powder to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The festival of colors involves smearing and throwing an array of colors, creating an inviting atmosphere for all ages.
12. Wife Carrying World Championships, Finland.
The husbands of Finland compete in a wife-carrying competition, where they carry them over 253 meters. There are obstacles along the way, such as an ice pool. A true test of marital bonds!