There are festivals in the world when you get to explore the culture or indulge in experiencing the traditional stuff. But taking a step back from the regular festivals, I decided to bring forth some of the wacky festivals from across the globe. Right from throwing stuff at each other to performing some bizarre activities, you are going to experience something unique like never before. From throwing tomatoes at each other in Spain to the mud festival of South Korea, here are the craziest festivals that you should visit and be part at least once in a lifetime. So without letting you wait much, here we go-
Gathering over a million pounds of oranges every year, the small town of Italy i.e., Ivrea celebrates the Battle of the Oranges. On visiting Ivrea for the Battle of Oranges you will witness Ivrea divided into 9 different squads and dressed in the battle attire. To participate in the Battle of Oranges you have to be a part of the team with around 4,000 total competitors hurling oranges at each other. If not you can simply be a spectator and enjoy watching the largest comida fight of Italy with a mask on your face.
When: 2nd March – 5th March 2019
Yet another weird but interesting festival being celebrated since 1998 in Boryeong, the city hosts an annual Mud Festival during the summer season. With music on, the festival is as messy as it sounds. People participating in the festival gets fully immersed in mud along with trying other activities including wrestling, mud sliding and even swimming in the giant mud bath. Not only this, the enthusiastic travellers, can even try the marine mud-training course, or enjoy relaxing in the mud bath and massage zone. While the day is celebrated playing with mud, the evening is for partying at the beach with music and fireworks.
When: 12th July – 21st July 2019
A very unique form of sport, World Toe Wrestling Championship comprises of two contestants sitting to wrestle or fight with their toes interlocked with the attempt to pin each other’s foot down. The one whose foot is forced to touch the medium is considered to be the loser of the championship. The entry to the championship is free of cost.
When: 22nd June 2019
Taking the lives in the hands, The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling competition is held every year on the Spring Bank Holiday, where a 9-pound round Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill with the players chasing after it. The one who makes it to the bottom first wins the cheese. Initially, the competition was held by and for the locals but now travellers from across the world participate in the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Competition.
When: 27th May 2019
A popular festival in Europe, Up-Helly Aa is the biggest fire festival celebrated on St Ninian’s Isle of Scotland. On visiting the place from the Up-Helly Aa, you will witness local men dress up as Vikings and setting things on fire. The event is celebrated in the middle of the winter marking the end of the Yule season which is done with blazing torches by formed into squads and march through the town or village wearing different costumes.
When: 29th January 2019
Yet another best fairs and festivals in the United States, Gilroy Garlic Festival in California is the largest food festival in the world. On visiting the Gilroy Garlic Festival, you will get to try the great garlicky food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and more. Make sure you don’t leave the festival without trying the must-haves including pepper steak sandwiches, pasta con pesto, fried calamari, and sausage sandwiches, Gilroy garlic fries and garlic bread and yes… the garlic ice cream which is ah-mazing!
When: 26th July – 28th July 2019
Yet another popular festival in the world, La Tomatina is held every year in the town of Bunol where thousands of people gather to throw squashed tomatoes at each other. It is believed that La Tomatina began in 1944 when children threw tomatoes at a bad musician which later escalated to tomato fight. Well, the actual reason behind the celebration of the La Tomatina festival is not yet revealed. Whatever the reason is, today La Tomatina is one of the most fun celebrated festival across in the world.
When: 28th August 2019
If you are fond of beer, then I am pretty sure you are going to love being a part of the Beer Floating Festival. The festival is enjoyed by the people as they float down a river in a boat or makeshift raft. Also known as Kaljakellunta is a unique annual festival which is held each summer on the rivers of Helsinki. The cool beer floating attracts thousands of tourists of all age and nationality. The uniqueness about the Beer Floating Festival is that there are no fixed official organizers, fixed dates, or established routes. This let the attendees of the festival connect and know each other comfortably.
When: Dates are yet to be released for the year 2019
If playing with water balloons is what you have ever fantasised about, then heading to Thailand for Songkran Festival will let your dreams come true. The festival will give you an opportunity to return to the summers of your youth where you can indulge in playing with water balloons and Super Soakers. In addition to this, having a religious significance, the Songkran Festival has its roots in Buddhism. The water throwing ritual in the religion is believed to be a purification ritual which washes away all the evil spirit before the Thai New Year. The main areas of the festival are Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket. Once you are in any of these places of Thailand you aren’t going to return back from getting drenched.
When: 13th April – 15th April 2019
Yet another must visit festivals in Spain, the Haro Wine Festival will let you make the most of your holidays in Spain. Come in white and leave in purple, the festival attracts hundreds of people carrying red wine and climbing a little height to pour it all over each other. Having a historical significance, the celebration dates back to 400 years to the battle of the 13th century between Haro and Miranda de Ebro regions. Over which Haro celebrated its victory with red wine toast which later evolved as a wine fight in La Rioja. So to get the best experience of travelling to Spain, fill yourself with wine and drouse everyone in one go.
When: 29th June 2019
Travelling to India, you are going to come across a number of festivals out of which the must-see cultural festival is Holi. Being one of the most fun and vibrant celebrations in the world, Holi will let you indulge in an activity where you can indulge in throwing bright powdered dye or flower petals which is majorly see in Vrindavan. Even though Holi was primarily celebrated in India, today the festival has gained popularity and is found being celebrated all over the world. So, if India is your next vacation plan in March, then make sure you don’t miss Holi which is one of the great traditional festivals in Asia where you can play and throw colours or flowers at each other.
When: 20th March – 21st March 2019
If you are a dessert loving person then you might see the championship as a tragic waste where custard pies are thrown at fellow countrymen. Taking a step back to 50 years ago, the event was conceived as a way of raising funds for the village which has today turned as a competition and attracts participants from different parts of the world. On visiting Coxheath for the Custard Pie Championship, you will see the players are divided into four teams with points awarded to those who strike the custard pie directly on their opponents face. In addition to this, dressing up in fancy costume is optional while dressing either in Victorian or futuristic outfits is customary.
When: 1st June 2019
Marking the beginning of the Spring Season, the Setsubun Bean Throwing Festival has nothing to do with cherry blossoms. Yes, people from different parts of the globe come and witness this crazy festival when people all over Japan take roasted soybeans and either throw them out of their window or at members of their family. This is done with the religious belief that bean-scattering ritual cleanses the evil of the previous year, marking a fresh start of the Lunar New Year. The practice started back in the 14th century and is still practiced and favourite among the people especially the children.
When: 3rd February 2019
Dating back to more than 200 years, Ibi, the small town of Spain celebrates the festival of Els Enfarinats where a mock battle taking place outside the town hall. Here the participants are dressed up in military attire and throw eggs, flour, firecrackers, fire extinguishers, and more. At the end of the day, any money collected in fines by the Els Enfarinats is donated to charity. So, if you are looking for witnessing a unique & unusual festival, then the Battle of Enfarinats will let you experience the power of flour and eggs.
When: Dates are yet to be released for the year 2019
Claiming to be the biggest folk festival in the world, Oktoberfest is a two-week carnival of beer, food, culture and traditions. The festival has been attracting an average of 6 million visitors every year. Boasting around 14 extravagant beer tents, Munich Oktoberfest is a paradise for those who love beer over everything. Yes, the 16-18 days festival is not just limited to beer, on visiting Oktoberfest you will get the opportunity to indulge in trying out a variety of food and enjoy over 80 rides and traditional parades exhibiting the Bavarian culture.
When: 21st September – 6th October 2019
French Catholic tradition which turned to be American Carnival, Mardi Gras is one-part parade, one part masquerade ball and one part pub exploration. The celebration takes place a week before the Lent days in New Orleans of Louisiana. On visiting New Orleans during the Mardi Gras, you will witness a royal extravaganza of vibrant colours and a lot of things to do including, music, adventure and fun on the streets of the city. With over 50 parades routes taken place in the city, the final one let the revellers experience the sheer excitement and madness that engulfs the city.
When: 5th March 2019
Have you ever thought of participating in a horse race? If yes, then heading to Cheltenham will give you an opportunity to try your luck at the Cheltenham festival. The festival features the biggest racehorse in the United Kingdom which is held every year in the month of March coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day celebration. On visiting Cheltenham for the festival you will witnesses a huge Irish and British crowd. What is going to interest you in the festival is the most alluring Grade I horse races along with some exciting offers from the local casinos which are impossible to resist.
When: 12th March – 15th March 2019
Believed to be one of the biggest music festivals of the world, Coachella is a haven for those who just can’t think beyond music, indie, hip-hop and EDM especially. Thousands of music fanatics from across the globe flock to the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert to take a dive into the Euphoric celebration of music. Also, if you happen to visit Coachella then you will get the opportunity to come across your favourite musical celebrity during the musical carnival. So, if drinking, eating, sleeping with music is what you have been up for then Coachella is the right place for you.
When: 12th April – 21st April 2019
Yet another famous festival around the world, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place every year for nine days. It is this time of the year when you can plan a trip to New Mexico to not miss out the mesmerising view of the 600 hot air balloons soaring high in the sky. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has now grown as one of the popular events of the world which attracts more than 1 million people to the field. If something unique is what you are looking forward to the experience, then be a part of the World’s largest balloon festival.
When: 5th October – 13th October 2019
One of the biggest and most recognized music festivals, Tomorrowland has been sweeping the globe over the years and gradually getting bigger. Hundreds of electronic music DJ’s take the various artfully built stages at Tomorrowland which is one of the reasons why the music lovers should make a visit Tomorrowland once in a lifetime or repeat. So, head to Boom to indulge in Tomorrowland where you must not have felt so magical about food, music and boozing.
When: 19th July – 28th July 2019
These were some of the international events and festivals and each of them are unique. So, make sure you attend these festivals around the world on your next travel saga. The list doesn’t end here and if you wish to know more about such festivals then Tour My India is here to enlighten you.
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