Burning Tar Barrel Festival
Although no is quite sure why anymore, for hundreds of years people in the town of Devon, England have been running through the streets carrying burning battles of tar. As soon as the sun goes down on the 5th of November (Guy Fawkes Night) barrels are lit and placed upon the back of a carrier. When he can bear it no more he’ll hand off the load to the next willing soul and so and so forth.
Bolas de Fuego
Staying on the topic of fire, this festival takes us halfway around the world to San Salvador. Around the turn of the 20th century a volcano almost completely destroyed the small town of Nejapa. Every year since then residents have gathered together in the town square for very a appropriately themed celebration consisting of throwing flaming rags at one another. Makes the fire ants and tomatos look a little more appealing doesn’t it?
Once again we find ourselves in Japan, and once again the Japanese have managed to outdo themselves. This time the festival involves two things – sumo wrestlers and lots and lots of babies. Every April the wrestlers face off while holding the babies to see who’s will cry first. May the man with the most baby friendly hands win.
Goat Tossing Festival
There are few things in the world stranger than what happens in the small Spanish town of Manganeses de la Polvorosa every fourth Sunday of January. Essentially it consists of a young boy finding a goat, tying it up, and then throwing it from the top of the church belfry after which is supposedly caught by villagers on the ground.
Also known as the baby jumping festival, this cringe worthy celebration occurs every year on the feast of Corpus Christi in the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia. Any baby that was born in the previous 12 months is placed on a mattress in the street while all the adult men of the village take turns jumping over them. Although there are usually at least several injuries (surprise!), word has it that they typically only involve the jumpers.