Don’t you just love it when things get a little out-of-the-ordinary? If so, these weird, wacky festivals are sure to delight you – you may even want to time your next holiday to coincide with one. Here are what we consider to be five of the world’s weirdest:
Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
As the name suggests, it’s time to get down and dirty in South Korea for two whole weeks in July! This is one of the nation’s most popular festivals and attracts millions to its slides, pools and wrestling rings, all filled with thick, glorious mud.
The festival was originally a marketing exercise for Boryeong, a mud cosmetics company, but over time it’s grown into an incredibly popular festival. The mineral-rich mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats and dumped in the Daecheon beach, transforming the area into a mud-filled wonderland.
Wife Carrying World Championships, Sonkajaervi, Finland
At the beginning of July, it’s time to test the strength of your marriage in Finland.
The bizarre World Wife Carrying Championships attract couples from all over the world who come to sprint 250 metres along an obstacle course, wives clinging onto their husbands’ backs from start to finish. But this is not restricted to couples only. If a man has no wife, all is not lost: he can always “borrow” a wife from a friend!
The Tomatina, Buñol, Valencia, Spain
If you love a food fight, head for the tiny village of Buñol for the tomato pelting of a lifetime! The magnitude of the world-famous La Tomatina takes food fights to a whole new level, so have those tomatoes at the ready on the fourth Wednesday in August.
La Tomatina began in remembrance of a public disturbance that took place in the village during the 1940s. Today, the locals use it as an excuse to hurl tomatoes at each other – such is the sense of humour of the people of Buñol!
Ivrea Orange Festival, Ivrea, Italy
If Valencia’s tomato fights aren’t enough, then roll into the magnificent Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea during February’s carnival. This much-loved event sees the townspeople re-imagining the battle that broke out between the people of Ivrea and Napoleonic troops in the 12th century.
Today’s battle consists of raucous orange throwers on foot versus others in carts representing the Napoleonic troops – beware oranges are far harder than tomatoes; participants wear helmets and padding for an incessant onslaught!
Baby Jumping Festival, Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
Yes, you did read this correctly! All babies born in the 12 months run up to Corpus Christi each year are placed in a long line on a mattress on the streets of Castrillo de Murcia – thus begins the strange Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho).
Men dressed as devils jump across the width of the line of babies, the idea being they will protect the babies from evil spirits and future sins. This folklore practice has been around since the 1620s and is still celebrated with great spirit.