Weird and Wonderful Festivals Around the World
Jan – Malaysia – Thaipusam: Participants shave their heads and perform a pilgrimage after which they push skewers through their tongues + cheeks.
Feb – Italy – Venice Carnival: The Venice Carnival is now world famous. It always takes place during the ten days leading up to Shrove Tuesday. Carnival, being a pre-lent festival, means farewell to meat; and is celebrated throughout Italy.
Mar – Nederland, Colorado – Frozen Dead Guy Day: Loosely celebrates, through a theme of frozen/ice/blue/winter, the discovery of the cryonic state corpse of Bredo Morstoel. Brrrr!
Apr – Amsterdam – Queensday: Queensday (“Koninginnedag” in Dutch) in Amsterdam is one of the highlights of the gay festival season as the Dutch celebrate their Queen’s birthday.
May – Georgia, USA – The Redneck Games: Born out of anger at media suggestions that the Olympics in Atlanta would be hosted by a ‘bunch of rednecks’, The Redneck Games features events such as ‘Toilet Seat Throwing’, ‘Bobbing For Pig’s Trotters’, the ‘Mud Pit Belly Flop’ and the mysterious ‘Armpit Serenade’.
Jun – Cooper’s Hill, Gloustershire – Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling: The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the spring bank holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloustershire. Competitors race down the hill after a round of Double Gloucester.
Jul – Pamplona, Spain – Running of the Bulls: The fiestas are celebrated in honour of San Fermin, patron said of Navarra. The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group of bulls that have been let loose, on a sectioned-off subset of a town’s streets. Run for it!
Aug – Finland – Wife Carrying World Championship: Participants in the seventeenth World Wife Carrying Championships aim to win a relay race while carrying their wives. Winner wins his wife’s weight in beer!
Sep – Munich, Germany – Oktoberfest: One of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than five million people attending every year. 7.5 million Litres of beer Sold.
Oct – Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and parts of Ecuador – Day of the Dead: El Dia De Los Muertos honours departed souls of loved ones who are welcomed back for a few intimate hours. At burial sites or intricately built altars, photos of loved ones are centered on skeleton figurines, bright decorations, candles, candy and other offerings such as the favourite foods of the departed.
Nov – Lopburi, Thailand – Monkey Buffet Festival: Over six hundred monkeys are invited to feast on over two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, ice cream and other treats. The locals see it as a thank you to the monkeys which inhabit the village and bring thousands of tourists there each year. Fancy a grilled sausage?
Dec – Sydney, Australia – The Scotland Island 500: The six hundred or so residents of Scotland Island off Pittwater in northern Sydney catch a ferry across a six hundred-metre straight to get to the mainland. But once a year, on Christmas Eve, they row, swim and cajole their pooches as they dog paddle together with their canines, who compete for the annual prize.