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Top 20 Weirdest Worldly Festivals | Rounds.com Blog

Top 20 Weirdest Worldly Festivals

Culture is a powerful tool for bringing people together. However the things that people choose to gather around can sometimes seem a little strange to the unaccustomed eye. Here are 20 of the world’s weirdest festivals!

1. Baby Jumping

Baby jumping Festival

Official Explanation:

Baby jumping (El Colacho) is a traditional Spanish practice dating back to 1620 that takes place annually to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos. During the act – known as El Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho – men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) jump over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street.

The festival has been rated as one of the most dangerous in the world. The origins of the tradition are unknown but it is said to cleanse the babies of original sin, ensure them safe passage through life and guard against illness and evil spirits.

What we think:

It’s a bunch of babies on a mattress being jumped over! even if he doesn’t lose his footing and create heartbreak for one or more mothers, even the dirt and stones can get kicked up onto the babies and harm them. Why, why, why? Anyone who views this must feel their unborn children trembling in fright.

2. Wife-Carrying Championship

wife carrying championship festival

Official Explanation:

Wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race while each carrying a female teammate. The objective is for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The sport was first introduced at Sonkajärvi, Finland.
Major wife-carrying competitions are held in Sonkajärvi, Finland (where the prize depends on the wife’s weight in beer); Monona, Wisconsin; Minocqua, Wisconsin; and Marquette, Michigan.
The North American Wife Carrying Championships take place every year on Columbus Day Weekend in October at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine.

What We Think:

Best Barney Stinson impression: Finally a way to get something positive out of having your wife on your back all the time. Am I right, fellas?

3. UFO Festival Roswell

ufo festival roswell

Official Explanation:

Staged in Roswell, New Mexico, the home of all things UFO-related, this festival takes place at the beginning of July annually and attracts thousands who the dress up as aliens and partake in activities such as attending lectures about extraterrestrials.

What We Think:

Yeah, we’d totally go to the War of the Worlds lecture in the middle of summer but we’ve got that… uh… we plan on washing the sinks in the house that day. And, uh, dusting hard-to-reach places. Such a shame.

4. Tunarama

tunarama australia festival

Official Explanation:

The Tunarama Festival began in 1962 and is primarily aimed at the family market, with free entertainment, competitions and contests being organised for all age groups. Traditionally the Tunarama Festival has been held over the Australia Day long weekend with the original idea to help promote the tuna Industry which was just emerging in Port Lincoln.

This date also coincided with the fishing fleet putting to sea. Nowadays, with increased technology and the advent of the aquaculture industry, (which has seen the end of the tuna poling method) the tuna fishing operations in Port Lincoln have changed, but the Festival has remained and is in its 50th year.

What We Think:

A festival with a tuna throwing competition has got the makings of awesome. Just imagine someone getting slapped in the jaw with a tuna?

5. Toe-Wrestling Championship

Official Explanation:

Toe wrestling is a sport gaining popularity in the UK. World championships started in Wetton in the 1970s and are now held at the Bentley Brook Inn in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Top players include Paul “Toeminator” Beech and Alan “Nasty” Nash, who is the current world champion.

What We Think:

In such a sport, no one wins. Except, perhaps, athlete’s foot.

6. Thaipusam Festival

thaipusam festival

Official Explanation:

Thaipusam is an Indian festival. It’s a celebration for the son of Shiva (Subramaniam) and the becoming “one” of Pusan and the Brihaspati stars.

Every year in Kuala Lumpur, on Thaipusam, as many as 900,000 devotees and other visitors may throng the caves. As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry kavadis (literally, “burden,” such as a pitcher or jug). These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue. By doing this penance they expect some favours from their Gods. It is a common practice for devotees here to pierce themselves with numerous hooks and long skewers as well as to pull heavy chariots hooked to their backs even though nothing is mentioned about these forms of devotional expressions in the holy books.

What We Think:


7. Testicle Festival

Testicle Festival

Official Explanation:

A Testicle Festival is an event held at several small towns in which the featured activity is the consumption of testicles, usually battered and fried. The oldest such festival takes place in Byron, Illinois, and features turkey testicles. But similar festivals are held in Oakdale, California, Huntley, Illinois, and Bozeman, Montana, some of which feature other types of testicles, such as the Oakdale festival, which features bull testicles.

What We Think:

Hehehe, [insert pun featuring the word 'testy' here]

8. Songkran Water Festival

songkran water festival

Official Explanation:

The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April. It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia.
Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season.
The most famous Songkran celebrations are in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where it continues for six days and even longer. It has also become a party for foreigners and an additional reason for many to visit Thailand for immersion in another culture.
The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks.

What We Think:

This is a water fight. Sure, you cover it with some kind of symbolic significance but this is quite simply an excuse to have a water fight. People were busy visiting monks and paying respect to elders and then some young upstart started a water fight, got in trouble and persuaded people that this was a good way to celebrate the new year and to cool off.

9. Monkey Feast

monkey buffet festival thailand

Official Explanation:

The Monkey Buffet Festival is held annually in Thailand to promote tourism. In 2007, the festival included giving fruits and vegetables to the local monkey population of 2,000 in Lopburi province north of Bangkok.

What We Think:

Okay, we understand that the town appreciates the tourism that the monkeys help to bring in but do they really need Coca-Cola? A monkey high on caffeine and sugar can’t be a good thing.

10. La Tomatina

la tomatina festival

Official Explanation:

La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, in which participants throw tomatoes at each other. It is held the last Wednesday in August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. Originally a method of getting rid of the excess harvest.

What We Think:

Food fighting festival? SWEET!

11. Kanamara Matsuri

kanamara matsuri

The most PC photo we could find

Official Explanation:

The Kanamara Matsuri “Festival of the Steel Phallus” is an annual Shinto fertility festival held in Kawasaki, Japan in spring held in Kanayama shrine. The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis forms the central theme of the event that is reflected everywhere—in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.

What We Think:

So. Many. Penises. Just everywhere. All day. Japan has definitely entered a 1-country competition of “Who Can Be The Weirdest Nation”. Still, we can’t help but love and admire them!

12. Holi Festival

Holi hindu holiday

Official Explanation:

Holi is a spring religious festival celebrated by Hindus.The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli Vandana in Sanskrit, also Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March.

What We Think:

A lot of festivals consist in throwing things be it water, paint, tomatoes or tuna. We detect a pattern but we’re too distracted by the pretty colours to really do much more.

13. Day of the Geese

goose clubbing festival

Official Explanation:

The Day of the Geese, also known as Antzar Eguna, is a competition held as part of the San Antolín festival in the Basque fishing-town of Lekeitio, in which participants attempt to decapitate a goose suspended on a rope above the town harbor. Boats pass beneath the bird, from which leap young men who hold on to the goose, which has been greased, and try to remove its head as those holding the rope on either side of the harbor pull the rope taught to raise the man and bird into the air and then let the rope slacken to send them falling into the water. This is repeated until either the young man has fallen off, in which case the next participant takes his place, or he has successfully removed the head of the goose. Any dispute as to who has won is resolved by racing around San Nicolas Island in the middle of Lekeitio Bay. As a prize, the winner of the competition gets to keep the goose.

What We Think:

What do these people have against geese that a day named after them becomes primarily focused on decapitating said animals in what is probably one of the most gruesomely creative ways ever? Beware, if you’re ever in the Basque country and they create a holiday for you, it will probably include people hanging from your genitals or a fight against a crocodile. Knowledge is power.

14. Goat Throwing Festival

Goat throwing festival Spain

Official Explanation:

The tiny Spanish village of Manganeses de la Polvorosa holds its annual festival for their towns patron Saint Vincent every June. The festivity begins with a group of excited young men tossing a live goat off the top of a 50-foot church belfry to the crowd below who catch the flying goat with a canvas sheet.
The goat is then paraded through the streets on the shoulders of partygoers and thus begins the annual San Vicente de Martir festival!

What We Think:

If you are not an adult and able to fend for yourself, get the hell out of Spain. Hide yo’ kids, hide your goats and hide your geese cause they tryin’ to murder everything out there. And you thought it was only the bulls they had it out for. Good grief!

15. Cheese Rolling Festival

cheese rolling festival

Official Explanation:

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in the Cotswolds region of England. It is traditionally by and for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but now people from all over the world take part. The event takes its name from the hill on which it occurs.From the top of the hill a round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors race down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese.

What We Think:

You can’t be that hungry! Furthermore, there are several safety issues that have caused this festival to go on hiatus. It’s a pretty steep hill.

16. The Carabao Festival

carabao festival

Official Explanation:

Begining May 14th, the people of Pulilan in Bulacan Province, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province, and Angono in Rizal Province celebrate for two days.

On the first day, farmers pay tribute to water buffalos, known as carabaos. These animals are very important for farmers because they help till the land. Farmers brush their carabaos’ skin until it is sleek and shiny. Then the carabaos are decorated with ribbons and attached to carts. In the afternoon, farmers lead their carabaos to the church square to be part of the procession. At the church, the carabaos kneel for their blessings. On the second day, the carabaos compete in a friendly race.

What We Think:

Just like the Thais, just how much do they owe these animals? Seems like there’s an enormous amount of guilt.

17. Camel Wrestling Championship

Camel Wrestling Festival

Official Explanation:

Camel wrestling is a sport in which two male Tülu camels wrestle, typically in response to a female camel in heat being led before them. It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also been practiced in other parts of the Middle East and South Asia.
The events can occasionally be hazardous to spectators if the Camels attempt to flee through the crowd. Other hazards include Camel spittle. On some occasions fights also break out between the owners of camels.

What We Think:

Just one question: what’s up with the dire warning about spittle? Aside from being gross, how dangerous is camel spit? It has to be dangerous since it’s right next to the possibility of being trampled to death.

18. Burning Man Festival

burning man festival

Official Explanation:

Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before, and ends on the day of, the American Labor Day holiday. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

What We Think:

Hippies in the desert on drugs running around naked and setting stuff on fire. Oh, no that doesn’t sound dangerous at all.

19. Bonfires of Saint John

bonfires of saint john festival

Official Explanation:

Bonfires of Saint John is a popular festival celebrated around 24 June (Saint John’s day) in several towns in Spain. The festival is celebrated throughout many cities and towns; however, the largest is in Alicante, where it is considered the most important festival in the city. The bonfires are particularly popular in many Catalan-speaking areas like Catalonia and the Valencian Community, and for this reason some Catalan nationalists regard 24 June as the Catalan nation day.
For this festival, people gather together and create large bonfires from any kind of wood, such as old furniture, and share hot chocolate while teens and children jump over the fires.

What We Think:

Similar to the Burning Man situation and yet so much worse. Once more the Spanish are trying to kill everything. Children jumping over fire. This is what passes for normal celebratory behaviour. And no one is worried. Ok. Fine. We’re not saying a word.

20. Boryeong Mud Festival

Boryeong Mud Festival

Official Explanation:

The Boryeong Mud Festival was originally created in 1998 as a marketing scheme to promote “mud cosmetics,” aka the mineral rich mud that washes up on the shores of Daecheon Beach. The advertising campaign was a total splash! In 2009, an estimated 80,000 people, mostly young adults from across the world, came to the beach to participate in events such as: The Mega Mud Tub, mud sliding, a mud prison and mud military training.

What We Think:

The Western equivalent would be running around dousing one another with Axe spray and slopping around in pools of Axe shower gel annually. At least this is just mud but still. It is a festival born of commercialism and thriving. How very modern.

What are some of the festivals that you’ve heard of that make you roll your eyes and wonder just how bored humanity is?

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  1. Mark

    National day in Catalonia is 11 september no june 24.

  2. Maria

    In the Spanish town of Pontevedra, a local festival called Ravachol (part of Carnval) involves the construction of a giant parrot. It’s to remember a pharmacist’s parrot which once lived in the town, and from whernce the festival gets its name. The parrot is decorated to fit a theme of the year’s biggest issue- this year it was the payment cuts. The parrot is then paraded through the streets, followed by townspeople dressed in black, crying and wailing. Then, at the end of the procession, they set it on fire. Definitely a surreal experience.

  3. On your interpretation of the Burning Man festival, I would like to make a clarification there.
    When you get to the gates (yes there are gates you have to go through and there are constant patrols to catch people trying to sneak in), they search your stuff to make sure you AREN’T bringing in drugs. Alcohol is ok, but they will confiscate any illegal substance. Even if you have a Marijuana card they will take it.

    Yes some drugs do get through, I’m not saying it’s entirely drug free, but I just felt that your statement about hippies on drugs setting things on fire was, well, too far fetched.

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