Top 20 Weirdest and Attractive Festivals Around the World That Make You Dizzy
|Weirdest and Most Bizarre Festivals in the World - Illustration. Photo: Mixi's|
|Table of Content|
Ever thought making a baby cry, wrestling with your toe or even chasing after cheese would become a widely celebrated festival?
Think again! Some annual events are born from traditional customs or religious rituals, whereas, others emerge from social media trends or even out of sheer boredom.
Check out our top 20 for the most unusual, unique festivals from around the world that you never thought existed and make sure to add them to your itinerary if you’re in the city around that time of year.
What Are The Most Bizzare Festivals in the World?
1. World El Colacho, Spain
|World El Colacho - Photo: Reddit|
If you're looking for the most offbeat festivals in the world, look no further than the Baby Jumping Festival. Every year, on the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, the town throws a big party to honor the holy day. Men in red and yellow suits with whips and oversized castanets jump over babies lying on mattresses in the street during El Salto del Colacho (Devil's Jump).
People believe that participating in this cultural event from the 1600s will protect them from harm. In recent years, people from all over the region have begun bringing their newborns to participate in this peculiar ritual, which was previously only practiced locally.
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2. Kanamara Matsuri, Japan
|Kanamara Matsuri - Photo: Pinterest|
Kawasaki, Japan hosts an annual festival known as Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, which is celebrated by locals and visitors alike. The penis serves as inspiration for the event's centerpiece, which is reflected in a mikoshi parade, floats, decorations, and candy.
Prostitutes once flocked to a nearby shrine honoring the penis in the hopes of warding off STDs, making it the epicenter of the Kanamara Matsuri. It is believed that there are also divine safeguards to ensure financial success for both the individual and the clan, a smooth and happy pregnancy and delivery, and a harmonious marriage.
Legend has it that on their wedding nights, two young men were castrated by a demon with sharp teeth (vagina dentata) who hid in a young woman's vagina. So she went to a blacksmith and had him make her an iron phallus to smash the demon's jaws, and then she had it enshrined.
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3. Hadaka Matsuri, Japan
Hadaka Matsuri is a subgenre of Japanese festival where people wear nothing more than a loincloth (fundoshi), occasionally a short happi coat, and only very rarely nothing at all. All over Japan, dozens of communities come together each year to celebrate this in either the summer or winter. Okayama is home to many festivals, but the most well-known is the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri. Hadaka Matsuri, or the Naked Festival, is held annually in Okayama, Japan, and dates back 500 years. More than nine thousand males attend this celebration annually.
At midnight, a Shinto priest throws a pair of lucky sticks into the crowd, and the men must fight over them until one of them wins. It is believed that the winner will have a prosperous year if he places the sticks in a wooden box filled with rice. There is great respect for this custom in Okayama.
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4. International Hair Freezing Contest, Canada
|International Hair Freezing Contest - Photo: CNN|
It's unthinkable to venture outdoors in the North during the winter without a hat, lest your hair freeze. It's a Canadian festival tradition to celebrate the most outlandish examples of frozen hair art.
The annual International Hair Freezing Contest takes place in Whitehorse, Yukon. Every year, competitors soak their heads in water for the competition, and when they lift their heads, their hair begins to slowly transform into an icy coiffure thanks to the weather. The winners of this offbeat celebration are announced in March.
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5. Wife-Carrying Championship, Finland
|Wife-Carrying Championship - Photo: festivalsherpa|
The Wife-Carrying Championship can trace its origins back to a reputable source: a band of thieves known for plundering villages for women in the late 1800s. This sport, which originated in Sonkajarvi, Finland, requires male competitors to race while carrying female companions through an elaborate obstacle course.
While the idea of running downhill with a woman squeezing your head between her thighs on a hot afternoon may not appeal, the prospect of winning your wife's weight in beer at the finish line will make you want to "run for your wife."
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6. Air Guitar World Championship, Oulu
|Air Guitar World Championship - Photo: Helsinki Times|
The Air Guitar World Championship attracts the world's best air guitarists to Finland every year.
Participants don costumes and make believe electric guitars, often while singing and dancing loudly in a rock or heavy metal style. This one-of-a-kind celebration, which has been going strong since 1996 in an effort to foster global harmony, has quickly risen to the ranks of the world's most prestigious competitions, drawing participants from all over the globe.
7. Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korean
Originally created in 1998 as a marketing scheme to promote “mud cosmetics” – this South Korean festival has since attracted over 2.2 million visitors annually. The mud is taken from the surrounding mud flats and taken to the Daecheon beach area where folks can participate in activities such as mud massages, mud skiing, mud prison, and a mud military training.
8. Water Gun Festival, South Korea
|Water Gun Festival - Photo: HaB Korea|
This summer, raise your summer spirits to new heights at the Water Gun Festival in the Sinchon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea. This event, which was initially created as a means to escape the summer heat, has become one of the city's most anticipated annual celebrations.
Water fights, live music, street dancing, and other special events make this the best place to bring a group of friends or family members to cool off and have a good time during the hot summer months.
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9. Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain
|Running of the Bulls - Photo: The Atlantic|
The famous "running of the bulls" in Pamplona is one of the most exciting and dangerous parts of the San Fermin festival. Hundreds of adventurers from all over the world flock to the city every July for the chance to run in front of six ferocious bulls (plus six steers) through the winding streets of the historic district. The bull runs are in the morning, and the bullfights are in the evening, so tourists can see both.
Aside from the performances, the rest of the time is spent feasting and imbibing. One of the most divisive and well-attended festivals in Spain is also one of the craziest.
10. Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand
|Monkey Buffet Festival|
In an effort to boost tourism in Thailand, the country hosts an annual festival known as the Monkey Buffet Festival. Although this festival gives the impression of being a monkey buffet, it is actually only a buffet for monkeys. The large number of macaque monkeys in Lopburi would be considered a nuisance in most of the world. But in Lopburi, they hold a place of honor.
Macaque monkeys are allowed to freely roam the area because the locals believe they are the descendants of a monkey warrior who brought good fortune to the area. Over 2,000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, and other monkey-friendly treats are provided at a yearly festival held in honour of these 'good-luck monkeys.
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11. Cat Food Festival
|Cat Food Festival - Photo: TravelTriangle|
The Cat Food Festival held annually in Cañete , south of Lima , the day of Santa Ifigenia , protective black art . The festival takes place in the month of September , sacrificing himself for the occasion about fifty cats .
In the same preparations are different dishes with cat meat , such as schnitzel , huacatay or greaves . Animals are bred and fattened especially for human consumption.
According to popular belief, the cat meat has properties aphrodisiac and prevent ailments in the bronchi.
12. Festival of the Horns - Festa del Cornuto
|Festival of the Horns|
Have you ever caught your wife or girlfriend cheating? If that's the case, you might enjoy this celebration. Festa del Cornuto, also known as the Festival of the Horns, takes place annually in the city of Rocca Canterano, which is located just to the northeast of Rome. The horns are a symbol of a cheated man in Italian culture. Reports place the origin of the bond back in Roman times. The majority of the warriors suddenly disappeared for months at a time to fight. They were welcomed back with a pair of horns as a token of appreciation.
Unfortunately, many men came home to find that their wives had abandoned them in favor of another man. As a result, the term "cornuto" came to mean a man who has been the victim of infidelity. Men who feel betrayed by their significant others often take to the streets of Rocca Canterano to vent their frustrations, often while carrying broken gifts from their ex-girlfriends or wives. The purpose of the parade is both to celebrate the men and to offer comfort.
13. Roswell UFO Festival
|Roswell UFO Festival - Photo: Travel Portland|
It was reported in June or July of 1947 that an unidentified flying object (UFO) crashed in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico, killing all aboard. The Roswell Army Air Field was reported to have said they had found a "flying disk" at the crash site. The next day, the original statement was retracted and replaced with one that said a weather balloon had been discovered. People were outraged at once, convinced that aliens had landed and that the government was trying to hide the truth.
The argument hasn't ended even after 60 years. There is an annual parade in Roswell where people dress up as aliens and listen to brief presentations from alien experts and authors to celebrate the belief that aliens have landed on Earth. But these extraterrestrial activists don't care about your race. Even if you don't buy into the alien theory, feel free to dress up and join in the fun.
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14. Cheese-Rolling Festival, England
|Cheese-Rolling Festival - Photo: CGTN|
Locals and visitors alike flock to Cooper's Hill in Gloucester, South West England, to witness the most unusual competition in which competitors launch themselves down the hill in pursuit of a nine-pound round cheese. The winner gets to keep the cheese and is the first to cross the finish line.
It used to be that the festival's main objective was to stop a hunk of cheese in its tracks before it reached the bottom, but the rules were changed because the cheese picks up speed so quickly, making it not only difficult but also dangerous to catch.
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15. Busójárás, Mohács, Hungary
|Busójárás - Photo: Souper Apartments|
Busójárás, the largest festival in Hungary, is known for its rowdy atmosphere. The rowdy carnival in Mohács is held to ward off the last days of winter with a mixture of pagan rituals, folk dancing, and devilish masks. It's also a holiday for the Croatian community in the area. At the festival, hundreds of busós (locals dressed in frightening masks) arrive in rowboats before proceeding to march through the streets in horse-drawn carriages, recreating the Battle of Mohacs from the 16th century.
In addition to the main celebration, visitors can partake in a wide variety of themed activities and warm up with plenty of spiced wine and pálinka (traditional fruit brandy).
16. Día de los Muertos, Mexico
|Día de los Muertos - Photo: Travel + Leisure México|
The Day of the Dead is a celebration honoring the lives of those who have passed away. The Mexican celebration in November shares many visual elements with Halloween.
During this time, loved ones of the departed come together to pray and reflect on their lives. In this brief time, the spirits of the departed are said to be reawakened and visit Earth to celebrate with their loved ones one last time. In return, the living members of the family prepare the deceased's favorite foods and offerings and treat them like honored guests. It's a holiday, not a day of mourning.
17. Underwater Music Festival — Florida Keys
|Underwater Music - Photo: Destination Florida Keys|
The Underwater Music Festival is held every year in the Florida Keys. Music is broadcast by local radio stations and piped underwater. Musicians dressed as mermaids and mermen join in on the fun and put on a show for all onlookers.
Many dive enthusiasts come out for the fun and food, but the festival also promotes the preservation of the Keys' coral reef ecosystem.
18. Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea
|Battle of the Oranges - Photo: The Straits Times|
Visit the Italian town of Ivera, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, on Shrove Tuesday to see residents and visitors shoot 600,000 kilograms of oranges at each other in celebration of the city's famously historic carnival. The battle is an attempt to reenact fighting between locals and Royal Napoleonic troops that occurred in the 12th century.
Foot aranceri (orange handlers) hurl oranges (representing ancient weapons and stones) at horse-drawn aranceri (representing the tyrant's ranks). One of the largest food fights in Italy takes place at this festival, making it one of the most unique celebrations in the world.
19. Roadkill Cook Off — Marlinton, W. Va.
|Photo: Ohio Festivals|
Ever driven past some roadkill and had the urge to eat it? Well, every year in Marlinton, W. Va., you can. This roadkill cook off festival allows locals to enjoy a day of tasting strange cuisine, shopping for local crafts, tasting local wines, and enjoying live entertainment.
20. Nalukataq Festival — Barrow, Alaska
|Nalukataq Festival - Photo: Pixels|
In Barrow, Alaska, the Nalukataq festival is held annually in June, after the spring whaling hunt has concluded. The length of the celebration, from a single day to more than a week, is dependent on the success of the previous whaling season.
The blanket toss, in which participants are thrown into the air using a sealskin tarp, is the festival's most well-known event.
You have just joined Knowinsiders.com to discover the 20 most bizarre festivals in the world, but always attract a large number of tourists to see and even participate in interesting and unique activities.
Fortunately, in the modern world today, there are still hundreds of such strange festivals.
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