As countries have their own cultures and unique ways of celebrating different events, we can find some traditions which are a bit peculiar. From throwing tomatoes at each other, running downhill to catch cheese or running away from bulls, there are definitely some festivals which are not for the faint-hearted.
For starters, festivals are celebrations that normally last a day or a period of days and that normally have a religious background. However, motives tend to change from country to country, and it usually involves a celebration with music, food and a lot of fun. Some countries might be a bit more festive than others, but almost every country has a completely unique festival or celebration that differentiates them from other cultures and that is well loved by the residents and by tourists.
In this blog, we have created a list of some of the festivals which have surprised us most. Keep reading if you want to find out the craziest festivals we WON’T be attending!
What would you say if they asked you to throw tomatoes at each other? If you think it is a fantastic idea, then you belong in La Tomatina. This crazy festival takes place in Valencia (Spain) and is definitely crazy. People throw tomatoes at each other, and it is calculated that last year over 145,000 kilograms of tomatoes were used in this festival.
If you are thinking about attending, it is necessary to purchase tickets. The festival brings people from different countries together, as 12% of the tickets were bought by British citizens, almost 5% by Americans, and fewer of them by French or Australians as well as other nationalities. Music is played during the festival and there is also an app to find out more about the town, Buñol. However, be careful with your phone as it could get tomato all over it!
It is highly recommended to bring clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, as they will most definitely get tomato all over them. Even if you will not get a chance to eat that many tomatoes as you will be too busy throwing them, tomatoes are great antioxidants and carry several health benefits.
The Redneck Games
Redneck is a colloquial way of calling a working-class white person from the southern part of the USA. It is said rednecks engage in unique and peculiar activities, the Redneck games being one of them.
This tradition originated in Georgia, USA. It started when it was said Atlanta would host the Olympic Games in 1996, to which a group said they would host the Redneck Games in East Dublin. Over 5,000 people turned up to the event and it became a tradition.
They held different competitions during the events. From Mud Pit Belly Flop, Big-hair contest or toilet seat throwing, it definitely is a bizarre and extravagant event that brings people together to cheer the participants of these challenges.
Due to lack of attendance, the Redneck Games put a halt in 2013. However, if you want to look at some photos of previous events and maybe even host your own personal Redneck Games, you can do so in their webpage.
Want to become a pig for a day? Come to la Pourcailhade! Taking place in the town of Trie-sur-Baïse (France) people in this festival enjoy doing pig races and eating contests. In their most popular competition, “Le Championnat de France du Cri de Cochon” (translated to the French Pig-Squealing Championship), contestants imitate pig noises and proclaim as a winner the one that does this better.
This last competition reminds us of the “Seagull Imitation Championship” which takes place in Belgium every march. As the name indicates, the contestants of this championship imitate the sounds of seagulls. Click on this video to hear the best imitations.
Even if it seems the festival is all about pork, it is actually focussed more on pigs, thus there won’t be that many events regarding eating pork. La Pourcailhade started in 1975 and had a small halt but has recontinued in 2018, so if you are interested in attending this festival which we WON’T be attending, it is held on the second Sunday of August.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-rolling and Wake
It is Spring Bank Holiday and you do not really have many plans. Then, why not head to Gloucester to see the Cheese-Rolling event? This festival was traditionally held by people from the village of Brockworth, however it has become so famous that people from all over the world come to compete. There has been winners from the United States, Australia or New Zealand.
The competition involves going down a steep hill chasing Round Cheese. Whoever is able to catch it keeps the cheese. The event can be a bit dangerous as people are running down the steep hill and normally trip and start rolling down the hill themselves, so this event is now unofficial as Health and Safety feared for the wellbeing of the contestants and shut down the original competition back in 2010.
So if you are a cheese fanatic and think you can win rolling down the hill to catch the cheese, then you GOUDA go to this festival!!
Boryeong Mud Festival
Mud is said to have really good properties for skin care, and maybe this is one of the reasons why Koreans have such impeccable soft skin. However, maybe a festival where you are covered in mud might be too much for some people.
The Boryeong Mud Festival is held in July in Seoul (South Korea). The festival normally lasts two weeks, but the most famous bit is the final weekend, which normally takes place the second weekend of July. As the name indicates, in this festival people swim in mud and throw mud at each other, but there are other attractions such as K-Pop concerts.
The festival started as a marketing strategy for Boryeong mud cosmetics, and as since 1998 attracted people from all over the world. It is necessary to reserve tickets for this festival if you want to go, however most of the tickets are sold at the door so if you have not been able to buy your ticket online then you probably will be able to do so at the festival. Completely mud!
There are many more festivals where people have food-fights, compete in extravagant challenges or just cover themselves in different things. As crazy as some of them may sound, most of them are a one-in-a-lifetime experience that will definitely not leave their participants indifferent.
This is our compilation of crazy festivals we will NOT be attending. What did you think about them? Is there any of them you would like to attend next year? If so, drop a comment on your thoughts.
Author: Maria Gomez