Top 10 Strangest Traditional Events in The UK
Top 10 Strangest Traditional Events in The UK
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Even in this day and age, the UK still hosts hundreds of extremely bizarre traditional festivals. These strange traditional festivals have always had an odd allure, drawing tourists from abroad as well as the British.

Numerous internationally acclaimed festivals draw hundreds of thousands of music fans to the UK each year. These oddball events, which frequently can't be found elsewhere, promise to make upcoming adventures full of laughs and entertainment.

These eccentric festivals can add a new dimension to your upcoming trip to Britain, whether you want to watch more than 200 snails compete in the World Snail Racing Championships or want to shoot at the World Hen Racing Championship.

♦The Most Unusual Festivals and Events in the UK:

Top 10 Strangest and Popular Traditional Festivals in The UK

1. Cheese Rolling

Photo: visitcheltenham
Cheese Rolling - Photo: visitcheltenham

Even though the spectacular flaming tar barrels event can't compete with the yearly cheese-rolling down Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire for sheer jaw-dropping theatrical drama, it still merits a spot in the dangerous category.

As you are undoubtedly among the majority who might find it difficult to combine the words "cheese" and "danger" in the same sentence, this age-old custom may require some explanation. Cheese-rolling entails chasing a large round of cheese down a hill while attempting to catch it before it hits the bottom. The danger is added by the hill portion of the scene because Cooper's Hill is so steep in some places that it is more cliff than hill.

In reality, the race is more about thwarting a spectacular series of human flight phases than it is about catching the Double Gloucester cheese. These inevitably come to an end once gravity takes over with numerous, painful collisions with the ground, each one being accompanied by a chorus of sympathetic oohs and aahs from onlookers.

Injury is a common occurrence in this situation, and even watching the event carries some risk. If an 8lb hunk of cheese ricochets off course while moving at any speed up to 70mph, it becomes a dangerous missile.

Modern-day killjoys have attempted to outlaw the celebration, but so far the ardent "cheesers" have always prevailed, preserving a long-standing custom. Ironically, more would-be cheese-chasers travel from all over the world to try their luck as the event gains more attention due to the injuries.

2. The World Hen Racing Championship

Photo: calendarcustoms
The World Hen Racing Championship - Photo: calendarcustoms

The 200-year-old Barley Mow pub in Bonsall hosts the World Hen Racing Championship event each year in its parking lot. Bring your own hen or rent one for a small donation of £5.00, depending on how many participants there are. With the assistance of their owners, who bribe the clucking hens with mealworms, corn, and lots of encouragement, the hens must race a 30-foot course. Even though they return to the starting point, everything is done in good fun and the hens are well taken care of. A hen could complete the course in three seconds, but it usually requires much more time. A bag of grain and a trophy are given to the winning hen along with the owner.

The occasion, which always takes place on the first Saturday in August, is a welcome change from the Olympic venues' sterile settings. Things keep getting better and better because this year you can camp at the pub, which means that if you become "fully refreshed" while watching the activities, you can return to your tent in just a few short steps.

3. Egg Throwing World Championships

Photo: bbc
Egg Throwing World Championships - Photo: bbc

According to legend, egg throwing has been a part of English village Swaton culture since the 14th century. The abbot distributed free eggs to everyone who came to church in an effort to increase attendance. The river flooded in 1322, preventing locals from going to church. As a result, the custom of throwing eggs across rivers by monks was established.

The first Egg Throwing World Championship was held as part of the 2005 Swaton Vintage Day, and a "eggstatic" team from New Zealand won the top prize. Teams of two compete to pass the egg the farthest without breaking it in order to win the prize.

Other competitions include "Russian egg roulette," in which participants alternately smash eggs against their own heads. Six eggs are available, five of which are hard-boiled and one of which is raw. The person who chooses the raw egg loses and gets actual egg on his face as a result.

Most Popular Festivals and Holidays in May from Around The World Most Popular Festivals and Holidays in May from Around The World

4. World Snail Racing Championships

Photo: thewhitehousenorfolk
Photo: thewhitehousenorfolk

Prepare, then slow down! The World Snail Racing Championships are held as part of the Congham Fete in Norfolk, close to King's Lynn, and feature about 200 snail competitors. The area is a great place for snail reproduction, and for more than 25 years, July has been dedicated to snail racing.

A Snail Trainer to the World Championships monitors the competition to ensure fair play for all participants as competitors crawl over a 13-inch course in the quickest time possible. Find a snail to join in the fun, or you can just observe as the mollusks slither off in search of glory.