Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Bizarre Festivals in The World 2017. Celebrations are a part of life, and as people around the world are different, so to are our celebrations. We celebrate the birth of children and pets, we celebrate religious and civil holidays. We find ways to celebrate every day life with achievement awards and medals, and sometimes, we even celebrate death. From individual birthday parties and family reunions to village festivals and national holidays, people will find any excuse to celebrate. This love of frivolity and lightheartedness can sometimes lead to some rather unconventional celebrations. Come with us as we explore the top 10 most bizarre festivals in the world 2017, and see what other civilizations have to offer in the way of festivities.
List of Top 10 Most Bizarre Festivals in The World 2017
10. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, Gloucestershire
In the small village of Gloucestershire, England is a local festival featuring, of all things, cheese rolling. Believed to have started in the early 1700’s as a way to welcome the birth of new life after winter, cheese rolling was originally only one of many events taking place at the festival but now is the main attraction, with only uphill races and children’s games accompanying it. A 7-9lb wheel of cheese is given a one second head start from the top of Cooper’s Hill, the hill for which the festival is named, and then contestants race down the hill after it. The first contestant to make it to the bottom of the hill wins both the race and the wheel of cheese.
9. Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea
In northern Italy lies the small town of Ivrea, site of the Battaglia delle Arance, better known as the Battle of the Oranges. This celebration is a re-enactment of a rebellion staged by the townspeople against a tyrannical baron in the 13th century. According to history, the rebellion started when a young maiden refused to succumb to the baron on the night of her wedding as was local law, and instead cut his head off and then led the villagers to burn down the baron’s castle and establish a new, free ruling village. Each year, the locals divide up into nine teams on foot against a team on horseback and take part in the biggest food fight in the world, hurling oranges at each other.
8. Night of the Radishes, Oaxaca
On December 23, 1987, the citizens and government of Oaxaca, Mexico declared La Noche de los Rábanos, the Night of the Radishes, an official holiday. What began as an eye-catching ploy put on by local vegetable merchants to attract customers, La Noche de los Rábanos is now a contest in which competitors create displays of multiple radishes of scenes ranging from the traditional nativity scene to scenes from modern day festivities. Since the radishes are much larger and heavier than those now grown by local farmers, the local government has set aside land near the city for the growth and cultivation of the oversized produce used for the festival.
7. La Tomatina, Buñol
In eastern Spain, a tiny town named Buñol is home to La Tomatina, a week long festival culminating in a massive tomato fight. A young festival by world standards, La Tomatina has been a tradition is this small town only since 1944, yet each year participants in the festival come from around the world, swelling Buñol’s population of 9,000 to more than three times its size. There are many theories surrounding the origin of the festival, ranging from a friendly food fight to rioting townspeople, but its popularity has grown enough to attract the attention of the Secretary Department of Tourism, which led to safety concerns regarding the number of participants. Today the total tomatoes used in the fight can tally upwards of one hundred tons.
6. el Día de los Muertos
Celebrated in central and southern Mexico, el Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is one of the more unusual festivals in the region. Originally occurring around the at the beginning of summer, the Day of the Dead was moved in the 18th century to coincide with the Catholic All Soul’s and All Saint’s days following Halloween. Festivities begin on October 31 when it is believed that the children who have passed on are allowed to return to the earth and spend time with their families and ends two days later on November 2nd after adults who have passed on have returned to spend times with their families. Although recognized world wide as a holiday, it is only an official public holiday in Mexico.
5. Songkran Water Festival, Thailand
Kicking off the solar new year in Thailand is the Songkran Water Festival, a three day, nation wide water fight with the potential to leave multiple roads underwater. Though festivities differ from region to region, most Thai people adhere to similar rites and rules during the holiday; major roads are closed for the duration of the holiday, which takes place in April, food is prepared and taken to various temples to be offered to local monks, and special tributes are made to elderly family members. Revelers are reminded to pay special attention to their attire when participating in the festivities.
4. Boryeong Mud Festival, Boryeong
124 miles south of Seoul, South Korea is the town of Boryeong, where every year millions of people gather to play in the mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival held during summertime. Arrayed along Daecheon Beach among stages for live music and other attractions, mud is set up for various forms of competition, play and relaxation; mud pools and mud slides, mud skiing tournaments, body painting and massages where the medicinal properties of the mud can be showcased. The festival was created in 1998 and leads of up a terrific display of fireworks.
3. El Colacho, Spain
Beginning in 1620, El Colacho is a ritual festival meant to cleanse sin from infants. During the festival, any babies born in the year since the last festival may be laid out on mattresses along the festivals procession through town so that El Colacho, the devil, may leap over them and cleanse them of sins. The tradition started out as folklore and has grown into a fun filled annual event meant to stave off illness and bad fortune in the participants’ futures.
2. Monkey Buffet Festival, Lopburi
Held in one of the oldest provinces in Thailand, the Monkey Buffet Festival takes place in Monkey territory. Lopburi, Thailand is home to roughly 3000 monkeys who attract thousands of tourists to the area annually for the festival. What started out as a ploy by local businessmen to increase tourism in the area, the festival consists of nearly 9000 lbs of fruit and sweets being laid out on mats, tables and makeshift pyramids for the monkeys to enjoy. Held in November, the Monkey Buffet Festival has greatly improved the economy of the area while adding a little fun in the process.
1. Kanamara Matsuri, Kawasaki
The Festival of the Iron Phallus, first held in 1977, is exactly what it sounds like, a festival dedicated to penises. Culminating around a shrine dedicated to a blacksmith who was said to have cured a young woman in the 17th century of her sharp-toothed penis biting demon vagina, the festival features everything penis shaped, from lollipops to hats. Featuring a parade, singing, carving contests and even cures for impotence, the Festival of the Iron Phallus has become a fantastic tourist attraction raising money to fight HIV.
So, thse are the world’s top 10 most bizarre festivals 2017. Festivals around the world differ as much, if not more, than the cultures from which they originate. From baby jumping and cheese rolling to the walking dead and iron penises, bizarre festivals around the world offer the unusual learning experience blended with plenty of fun.