From birthdays to new years every culture has its fair share of things to celebrate. While in most parts of the world you’ll find that the celebrations have at least a few things in common (eating, drinking, dancing) many times the similarities stop there. Where some people like to complement the festivities with throwing goats out of towers others prefer driving skewers through their faces. Whatever helps you get your party on right? Well prepare for some culture shock because these are the 25 most insane festivals from around the world.
Not for the faint of heart, this Hindu festival is typically celebrated in southern India and involves some of the most intense body piercings known to man. According to practitioners, the more pain you can endure, the more you will be blessed and some even try pulling tractors or other heavy objects with the hooks in their skin.
Every April, to celebrate New Year, the world’s largest water gun fight takes place in the country of Thailand. And no, it’s not just some small isolated village. We’re talking about an entire country drowning itself with supersoakers. But the fun isn’t limited to water guns, as some people prefer buckets or even elephants.
Originally meant to promote Australia’s fledling tuna industry, this festival has now come to be known for it’s highlight event…the tuna toss.
What started as something of a street fight between teenagers using tomatoes from nearby vegetable stalls has turned into the largest tomato fight in the world. It happens every year in the small Spanish town of Bunyol and over the course of about 1 hour the town gets so covered in tomatos that the fire department has to come in and spray everything down.
Taking place every summer in the town of Boryeong, South Korea this international mud fight attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Strangely enough it was originally intended to be a marketing vehicle for local cosmetics producers who use the mineral rich mud in their products.
By this point you’ve proably noticed that large groups of celebrating people have a tendency to throw/smear things on one another and while it’s hard to say whether colored powder feels any better than mud or tomatos it certainly looks a lot cooler. If this kind of thing strikes your fancy though, you might want to pay India a visit during the springtime festival of Holi. At the very least you’ll probably end up with a pretty cool looking tie-dye shirt!
There aren’t many things cooler than hanging out with a bunch monkeys…except maybe hanging out with a bunch of monkeys stuffing their faces at an all you can eat buffet. That’s exactly what you’ll find, however, if you visit Thailand around the month of November. Locals celebrate the festival every year by laying out fruit for thier monkey friends. Interestingly enough there’s supposedly no real significance behind it except for an alleged attempt to boost tourism.
Where some people ask “why?” the French ask “why not?”. That’s about as good an explanation as your going to get concerning this annual festival held in the small town of Trie Sur Baise. Ok, that’s not completely true. The town used to be France’s biggest pig market and although business isn’t quite what it used to be, it seems the locals are still very passionate about their swine.
Although it sounds like some sort of vegan horror film, it’s actually a festival celebrated every year before Christmas throughout Mexico. Streetside vendors whip out there specially grown, oversized radishes (don’t ask) and then proceed to sculpt them into some really cool shapes.
Also known as the Near Death Festival, this celebration is held annually in the town of Las Nieves, Spain. Hundreds of people attend mass in honor of Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the Patron saint of resurrection. Don’t be surprised, however, if you see a bunch of people being carried there in coffins. No, they’re not dead, at least not yet. They’re actually in the coffin because they’ve just had a near death experience in the past 12 months and are now showing their gratitude.
Every year near Gloucester, England hundreds of people gather to watch as locals chase a huge cheese off the top of Cooper’s Hill and tumble a couple hundred yards to the bottom where they are almost inevitably scooped up by paramedics and taken to the hospital. Supposedly if you cross the finish line at the bottom first though, you win the cheese. Definitely worth it.
Every year in the town of Argungu, Nigeria all the local men compete to see who can pull the largest fish out of the river using nothing but their bare hands. Ladies take note, the winner is supposed to be a real catch.
Probably one of the more popular events on this list, the Pamplona Bull Run in Spain is actually part of the Fiesta San Fermin which takes place every July. The only requirements to participate are that you have to be at least 18 years old and sober.
When it comes to strange festivals it’s pretty hard to beat the Japanese. Although this “naked festival” seems like little more than a bunch of guys running around in diapers it’s actually considered to be fairly sacred by some people and can be traced back hundreds of years.
Every year the town of Laza in northern Spain holds a festival that involves people throwing muddy rags at one another. That’s not the worst part though. While everyone is in the town making a mess of themselves several young men will go up into the mountains and collect fire ants. After shoveling them into dirt filled sacks they bring them back to the town where they douse them in vinegar to rile them up a bit. After this the only thing left to do is take the angry fire ants around town and throw them into people’s faces.