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The World's Weirdest Festivals

- A GUIDE TO- THE WORLD'S WEIRDEST FESTIVALS 0900 STRAP YOURSELF IN, THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET WEIRD! •... .. •... .. UP HELLY AA BATTLE OF THE ORANGES HADAKA MATSURI ST NINIAN'S ISLE, SCOTLAND IVREA, ITALY OKAYAMA, JAPAN When: Last Tuesday of January When: February When: February Winter is pretty bleak on this far-flung island, so they hot things up a bit with Europe's largest fire festival. Local gents dress in full Viking regalia, light torches and go rampaging through town. Of course. The origins of this event is hazy, but one thing is clear: this is Italy's biggest food fight, and it's carried out exclusively via the medium of oranges. A waste of oranges or the best thing since sliced bread? You decide. Though the translation is "Naked Festival", participants rarely get completely starkers. Mostly, it's just 9,000 blokes in tiny loincloths, receiving purification from temple water and hoping for a lucky year. NAKI SUMO SONGKRAN FESTIVAL GOLDEN SHEARS TOKYO, JAPAN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND MASTERTON, NEW ZEALAND When: April When: 13th - 15th April When: March This one is very straightforward. Two sumo wrestlers stand opposite each other in a ring, each holding an infant born the previous year, each attempting to make the other's child cry. If they don't cry? The ref puts on a scary mask. Wool is a matter of great national pride for New Zealand, and so sheep shearing is the subject of this competition. Held over three days, shearers the world over compete for the honour of winning the golden shears. As part of celebrations of Thai New Year, Thais wander the streets with small containers of water or even water guns, dousing all and sundry with water in the streets. Parts of the city are even closed off to make way for the revelers. DAY OF THE SKULLS CHEESE ROLLING, EL COLACHO LA PAZ, BOLIVIA COOPER'S HILL, ENGLAND CASTRILLO DE MURCIA, SPAIN When: 5th May When: May (Spring Bank Holiday) When: June (Corpus Christi) You know how you keep your relatives' skulls lying around the house? If you head to La Paz you will be in good company. Decorate them with flowers, hats and Since the C15th, people have gathered on Cooper's Hill to race a round of Double Gloucester cheese to the bottom, the winner returning it shirtless to the top, symbolising the eternal cycle of man's creation, release, pursuit and re-capture of dairy products. Hmm. That day each year when a man wearing a devil's costume leaps over the town's babies to cleanse them of evil spirits. Once more: annually since 1621, a dude in a devil outfit has jumped over 1-year old infants as they lay on the floor. cigarettes. For good luck, naturally. ..... •... .. LA TOMATINA WIFE-CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIP BORYEONG MUD FESTIVAL BUÑOL, SPAIN SONKAJÄRVI, FINLAND BORYEONG, SOUTH KOREA When: Last Wednesday of August When: July When: July Another food-fight, La Tomatina uses an estimated 40 metric tons of tomatoes each year. The rule state that tomatoes must first be squashed to avoid injury; only tomatoes are to be used, and there is no Men must carry a wife (it doesn't have to be his own) around an obstacle course in the fastest time. The rules stipulate that the wife must be at least 17 years old and weigh 49 kilograms, and also that all participants must enjoy themselves. Perhaps the weirdest thing about this festival is that it was originally designed as a vehicle to market cosmetics. And that mud is trucked in to make "Mud Experience Land". And that people take their clothes off and bathe in mud. ripping off of t-shirts. NOCHE DE RÁBANOS OAXACA, MEXICO RAYNE FROG FESTIVAL MONKEY BUFFET FESTIVAL LOUISIANA, USA LOPBURI, THAILAND When: September (Labour Day) When: November When: 23rd December In the grand tradition of pageantry that America's heartland loves - like dairy queens and Toddlers and Tiaras - Rayne's Frog Festival celebrates all that's froggy, including frog racing, a frog parade and the selection of Frog Queen. No, the monkeys aren't in the buffet. Instead, fruit and vegetables are prepared in a buffet for the local monkey population by top chefs. They feast like primate kings at the local temple, while people watch on. hungrily. Another vegetable-based festival, the Night of the Radishes begins with a competition where Mexico's finest craftsmen carve large root vegetables into a variety of vivid forms. Winner gets their picture in the paper. And glory. PHEW! WE MADE IT. TIME FOR A LIE DOWN Infographic created by No Pork Pies on behalf of travel company FHR noporkpies

The World's Weirdest Festivals

shared by FHR on May 14
A visual guide to some of the weirdest festivals from around the world including baby jumping, cheese rolling and wife carrying.




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