These 10 slightly strange or downright bizarre festivals around the world celebrate the unusual.Why not take part in these weird and wacky events for 2014.
1. Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill
You may have thought the most dangerous thing about cheese was the mould, but then you’ve probably never stood atop Cooper’s Hill on this mad Monday. The premise is simple: a handmade, seven-pound circle of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill and a gaggle of people chase down behind it. The first to the bottom of the hill (or to grab the cheese) wins, and gets to keep the cheese. Which does nothing to explain the mud, the slippery grass, the slope and the injury toll.
2. Monkey Buffet Festival
The Monkey Buffet Festival is quite an unique Festival in the very cultural country of Thailand. Set up in the province of Lopburi, North of Bangkok, the Monkey Buffet Festival is held for the benefit of the monkeys. 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, cakes, candies is set down in front of temples on tables, in pyramid or just on a simple mat for the delight of the 3000 monkeys living in the area.
3. Hadaka Matsuri
A mysterious and exciting night festival.Almost fully-naked men compete for good luck charms.The most famous of the naked festivals is the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri in the city of Okayama in western Honshu. This particular Hadaka Matsuri has blown up to legendary proportions. More than 10,000 loin-clothed participants gather at the Saidai-ji temple to vie for the title of “the lucky man,” an honor achieved by catching the shingi or sacred lucky sticks. The one “lucky man” must not only capture the symbolic batons, he must successfully defend himself against 10,000 contending men before thrusting them into a container filled with rice. His efforts are well rewarded, however: Bestowed upon him will be abundance, wealth (a cash prize), and bragging rights for an entire year.
4. Boryeong Mud Festival
For those of you new to Korea or to the festival this huge event is located on the west coast of Korea at Daecheon Beach, Boryeong in the South Chungcheong Province.
The area is known for massive mud flats that run all along the coast. The mud is great for your skin so a few years back the people of Boryeong thought they should invite others to learn about the special mud. They wanted people to know all about the health benefits from using mud products from the region. From then on the festival expanded. It has now been running for 16 years and it’s gained quite an international reputation for good reason.
5. La Tomatina
The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Buñol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. One of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration.
6. Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes)
Noche de Rabanos (Night of the Radishes) takes place every year, on the 23rd of December, in Oaxaca,Spain and is one of the most impressive vegetable festivals around the world.The radish was brought to the Americas in the 16th century, and back then the vendors used to carve them and use them on their market stalls to attract customers. Although the origins of the festival cannot be traced to an exact period, it is considered that it all began in the year 1897, when the mayor of Oaxaca organized the first radish-art exposition. Everever since that first celebration, every year, this humble vegetable is meticulously carved into animals, warriors, kings, dancers and pretty much any shape you can imagine. The artists sometimes make use of other vegetables, like onion or lettuce to complete their work. There’s also a prize for the most beautiful piece displayed.
7. Moose Dropping Festival
The festival is traced back to 1972 when a few of the local lads were living it up in the local saloon and thinking of ways to attract tourists to Talkeetna. Being inspired by other animal themed festivals in the States, they turned their attention to the moose – or more specifically, its poop. First they hit the forests to collect moose droppings. Then they baked them in the oven and sprayed them in varnish. The first game they created was a moose “nugget” tossing contest which involved tossing the varnished moose droppings onto a board with numbers. At the end of the game, the numbers were tallied up and the person with the highest number was awarded a prize.
8. Naki Sumo
The tradition is hundreds of years old, with mythical roots. The Japanese have a saying, “Naku ko wa sodatsu” (“Crying babies grow fast”). It was believed that a loud cry from an innocent baby will scare away demons, ensuring that the kid grows up healthy.The festival has a silly, festive air to it, so many of the babies don’t cry. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, sumos sometimes will put on scary masks to goad them into it and shout “Naki! Naki! Naki!” — literally, “Cry! Cry! Cry!”
9. Baby-Jumping Festival
The Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia held its yearly baby jumping ceremony on Sunday, which involves men dressed as devils leaping over newborns in the street.Newborns are sprinkled with confetti and flower petals before being laid out on mattresses where men dressed in a yellow and red suits run and hurdle over them. The practice is meant to cleanse the infants of original sin and protect them from future evils. Afterwards, the town is also said to be cleansed of original sin.
10. Pourcailhade (Festival of the Pig)
But the event that challenges entrants to really make pigs of themselves is the Cri do Cochon (pig-squealing championships). Contestants not only imitate our pink friends, but represent various stages in the twisty-tailed life cycle. Starting with the squeals of newly arrived piglets, they cover the whole gamut of pivotal moments in the pen, from the grunts of lovemaking to the wheeze of an old hog preparing to trot off this mortal coil.
[youtube height=”500″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTCB0RJfiKA[/youtube]
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