Ever participated in any festival that you think is seriously crazy? Or, if I may ask, which is that craziest festival that you last attended, or how many have you participated in so far? Here are some of the craziest festivals from around the world that many of you might not know. From baby jumping festival to the “day of the dead”, from winter scareaway to burning man festival, the list features some of the craziest, messiest, and most colorful festivals and events ever. True, the world is full of fun and crazy people, and these festivals are solid proof.
1. Boryeong Mud Festival (South Korea)
This South Korean festival could be referred to as the sexiest and the dirtiest festival. It came into being when a cosmetics company developed a line of beauty products which featured mud from the Boryeong mud flats as the main ingredient. Since the company couldn’t be bothered to spend money on commercials, the Mud Festival was born so potential customers could feel the benefits of the special mud firsthand. It is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in Boryeong, a town around 200 km south of Seoul.
2. Baby Jumping Fiesta (Spain)
Known as the El Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho, this Spaniard traditional festival has taken place on an annual basis since way back in the 1620s. During the act, men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) in red and yellow jump suits jump over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses placed on the procession route traversing the town.
3. The International Highline Meeting Festival (Monte Piana, Italy)
This festival might be one of the most terrifying festivals in the world. The festival celebrates the extreme sport of slacklining and the attendees (who call themselves slackers because of the slacklines they balance themselves on) spend most of their time living and sleeping on ropes slung hundreds of meters up in the air across the Italian Alps in Monte Piana. Besides the terrifying side, the meeting has all the trappings of a normal festival. Attendees can also attend a Yoga workshop or take tandem paraglider flights. It is held every year in the month of September.
4. Songkran Water Festival (Thailand)
Songkran is the Thai New Year’s festival. During this festival water is used as a symbol of rejuvenation and cleansing. People splash water on each other to wash all the misfortunes and struggles of the previous year as well as to refresh everything for the brand new year. The Thai New Year’s Day is April 13, but the festival extends to 14–15 April.
5. Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri (Japan)
Hadaka Matsuri or Naked Festivals are held in dozens of places in Japan every year and the most famous one is the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri. What is so interesting about this festival is that over 9,000 near-naked men come together every year and fight over a stick in hopes of gaining luck for the entire year. A priest tosses the so-called sacred shingi sticks into the heaving mass at midnight and whoever catches, snatches and, ultimately, stuffs the sticks into a box of heaped rice is believed to be blessed with a year of happiness.
6. Dia De Los Muertos Festival (Day of the Dead) (Mexico)
This festival is like the Mexican way of celebrating Halloween. The tradition involves remembering and honoring the dead by building private altars called ‘Ofrendas’ and offering gifts like sugar skulls, Marigolds and the favourite food and beverage of the departed. The festival takes place on the first day of the 11th
7. Carnival of Venice (Venice)
Carnival of Venice is the festival of intrigue and secrets, of clandestine meetings and rendezvous. During the carnival, Venice comes alive with masked Venetians and tourists. Everybody is free to do things they’ve desired all year without any guilt, thanks to the masks. Bands, jugglers and entertainers are everywhere and the canals are full of colorful boats while the nights are full of parties and masked balls. The tradition of this carnival dates back to over 900 years ago.
8. La Tomatina (Spain)
La Tomatina is a festival that is celebrated in the Valencian town of Buñol, Spain, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. The unbridled use of tomatoes in this festival in a good, or a bad, way is what puts it in the list of the craziest festivals.
9. White Nights Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia)
The White Nights Festival is an annual international arts festival celebrated during the season of the midnight sun. The “Stars of the White Nights”, a series of classical ballet, opera and orchestral performances, is an essential part of the festival. It includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors, as well as famous international guest stars. A series of carnivals take place during this festival, and the beautiful Scarlet Sails celebration is the culmination of the White Nights season.
10. Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (China)
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival celebrated in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. At first, participants in the festival were mainly Chinese, but it later became an international festival and competition and is now the largest ice and snow festival in the world. The festival includes the world’s biggest ice sculptures. The amount of hard work and creativity that goes into the making of these sculptures is surely something you don’t want to miss out on.
11. Mohácsi Busójárás – Winter Scareaway Festival (Hungary)
Mohácsi Busójárás is an annual festival celebrated by the Šokci, or Croats, living in town of Mohacs, Hungary. A six days festival, it starts at the end of the Carnival season (Farsang) and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. The celebration features Busós (people wearing traditional masks) and includes folk music and dancing, and a giant bonfire in the center of town.
12. Burning Man Festival, Nevada (USA)
Burning Man festival is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles. During this festival, the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression, created in celebration for the pleasure of all participants. Participation is a key precept for the community – selfless giving of one’s unique talents for the enjoyment of all is encouraged and actively reinforced at this event.
13. Monkey Buffet Festival (Thailand)
Monkey Buffet festival is held annually in Lopburi, Thailand, the celebration of which includes giving fruits and vegetables to the local monkey population. The festival was described as one of the strangest festivals by London’s Guardian newspaper.
14. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (New Mexico, USA)
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly festival of hot air balloons celebrated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October. It is a nine-day event, and has over 500 balloons each year. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.
15. Golden Retriever Festival (Scotland)
The Golden Retriever festival is run by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland and is held at the ancestral home of the breed. The club first held such an event in 2006 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the organization. At the time, as many as 188 goldens showed up from around the world, the largest group ever photographed in one place.