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Posted on 5/12/2009 12:59:00 PM

World's Most Unusual Festivals

From rolling cheese in Gloucestershire to wife-carrying in Scandinavia, the world is full of quirky, colourful – and downright bizarre – events. They may not be to everyone's taste, but here is a selection of some of the unusual festivals you can find around the world this year:

La Tomatina (August 26, 2009 - Buñol, Valencia)
The industrial town of Brunol welcomes 20,000 visitors to throw tomatoes at one another in an oversized food fight. There are differing theories as to how it began, one suggesting that it stems from anti-Franco protests in 1945.
www.latomatina.org

The Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho) (June 11-15, 2009 - Castrillo de Murcia, Spain)
First staged in 1620, this strange event celebrating Corpus Christi sees grown men dressed as the Devil leaping over a row of babies lying in the street.

Cheese Rolling
(May 25, 2009 - Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire)
This popular festival involves hundreds of contestants chasing a roll of cheese down the steep, muddy Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire.
www.cheese-rolling.co.uk


Boryeong Mud Festival
(July 11-19, 2009 - Boryeong, South Korea)
First staged in 1998, the Boryeong Mud Festival now attracts more than a million visitors to the South Korean city. Said to be rich in minerals, the mud for the festival is trucked in to Daecheon Beach for tourists and locals to enjoy.

Camel Wrestling Championship (January, 2010 - Selcuk, Turkey)
Now restricted to the Aegean region in Turkey, camel wrestling involves two camels butting each other until one gives in or is pinned down. Often the loser will run into the crowd of spectators causing panic as onlookers try not to get trampled.

Wife Carrying World Championships (July 4, 2009 - Sonkajärvi, Finland)
Participants in the seventeenth world wife carrying championships aim to win a relay race while carrying their wives. The winner receives their wife's weight in beer. Similar events have now sprung up around the world.

Monkey Buffet Festival Thailand
(November, 2009 - Lopburi, Thailand)
Over 600 monkeys are invited to feast on over two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, icea cream and other treats. The locals see it as a thank you to the monkeys which inhabit the village and bring thousands of tourists their each year.

Hadaki Matsuri (Naked Festival) - Japan
Participants will usually dress in a Japanese fundoshi, or loincloth, and throw mud and water at one another to symbolise purification. Naked Festivals are held in a number of locations across Japan, usually in summer or winter. Though traditionally a spiritual event, many now join in just for fun.

Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) (December 23, 2009 - Oaxaca, Mexico)
In the 16th century, after radishes were brought to the Americas, vegetable sellers used to make sculptures of radishes to advertise in the markets. Since 1897 the custom has been celebrated with an annual festival, with the best sculptors awarded cash prizes.

Ivrea Orange Festival (February, 2010 - Ivrea, Italy)
Every year in the town of Ivrea, residents re-enact an ancient battle in medieval costume, armed only with oranges. Nine teams of orange-throwers battle against one another, while participants are fed with free beans to keep energy levels up.

Pourcailhade
(August, 2009 - Trie Sur Baïse, France)
Participants at this festival in the French hamlet of Trie Sur Baise can enjoy sausage eating, piglet racing and a pig imitation contest.
www.pourcailhade.com

Burning Man
(August 24-30, 2009 - Black Rock City, Nevada)
Ticket prices vary, approx. £200
Each summer close to 50,000 hedonists gather in the Nevada desert for eight days of mayhem, culminating in the burning of a giant wooden effigy.
www.burningman.com

Räbechilbi Turnip Festival
( November 14, 2009 - Richterswil, Switzerland)
Over twenty tonnes of carved turnips and fifty thousand candles are displayed in this Swiss festival celebrating the humble turnip. The event includes parades of illuminated houses and plenty of music and entertainment.

The Testicle Festival
(July 29 – August 2, 2009 - Clinton, Montana, USA)
$15 general, $20 camping, $40 to park your RV
Over 21’s only
Around 6,500 people are expected to attend the 27th annual Testicle Festival at Rock Creek Lodge in Montana. It's a strictly adults-only affair, as although the festivities revolve around the theme of eating bull’s testicles, or ‘Rocky Mountain Oysters', visitors should expect oil wrestling, wet t-shirt competitions and lots of public nudity; 'No Panty Wednesday' sees punters offered a free drink in exchange for their underwear.
www.testyfesty.com

The Redneck Games
(July, 2009 - East Dublin, Georgia, USA)
Born out of anger at media suggestions that the 1996 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'. A Canadian version of the games began in 2006.

World Toe Wrestling Championships (June, 2009 - Ashbourne, Derbyshire)
Visitors free, £1.50 to enter (proceeds to charity)
Toe Wrestling involves two opponents sitting opposite each other and placing their feet on a ‘toedium'. Toes interlocked they wrestle with both feet until one contender's foot is forced to touch the side of the frame. This year proceeds will go to the Make A Wish Foundation.
www.bentleybrookinn.co.uk

World Bog Snorkelling Championships (August 31, 2009 - Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales)
Competitors, many in fancy dress, battle to be the fastest to snorkel through 60ft of bog. Well over a hundred people compete each year.
www.visitsouthwales.com

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4 comments

Anney on May 14, 2009, 10:11:00 PM  

I do not approve of that baby jumping festival. Why involve babies? Accidents happen and you never know what could happen.


Anney on May 14, 2009, 10:21:00 PM  

I do not approve of that baby jumping festival. Why involve babies? Accidents happen and you never know what could happen.


Dorothy L on May 18, 2009, 4:07:00 AM  

Sweety...you always have the oddest photos.
They always amaze me and make me smile.
For that I thank you :)))))


Anonymous on Oct 9, 2009, 6:38:00 AM  

Nasty Nash is still No1 when it comes to Toe wrestling.
He wins again