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The 10 Most Bizarre Festivals On The Planet

If you’re fed up of attending the same old festivals each year and feel like trying something a little different, then fear not, as we’ve managed to track down some of the world’s weirdest and most wonderful celebrations and competitions. Whether it’s snorkelling through a muddy bog in Wales or jumping over babies in Spain, the following is a list of 10 of the most bizarre festivals on the planet. Who knows, maybe they’ll even inspire you enough to take part next year!

The Songkran Festival – Thailand

The Songkran Festival takes place across the whole of Thailand every April, in order to celebrate the New Year. As the above pictures may suggest, the festival is basically a giant water fight, with people using water pistols, buckets and even elephants in order to get each other as wet as possible.

Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri – Japan

If you suffer from claustrophobia then the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri may be one festival to avoid. The ritual takes place in Tokyo on the third Saturday in February every year and sees a priest throw a pair of sacred sticks into a pit of up to 9,000 semi-naked men. The men must then scramble to grab the sticks and place them in a sacred bowl of rice, granting them a year of happiness.

World Bog Snorkelling Championships – Wales

The World Bog Snorkelling Championships is as crazy as it sounds. Competitors (many in fancy dress) must snorkel their way through a 60ft long muddy bog to see who sets the quickest time. The festival takes place in Wales every year and can attract competitors from as far afield as Japan, Australia and Canada.

Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea

Boryeong in South Korea is home to the annual Mud Festival. The festival first started in 1998 and now attracts up to 1 million visitors each year. The mud from the Boryeong region is believed to be rich in minerals and good for the skin, giving people the perfect excuse to get absolutely covered in the stuff!

Monkey Buffet Festival – Thailand

Before you go searching for the phone number for the nearest animal protection company, the Monkey Buffet Festival in Thailand doesn’t actually involve people eating monkeys at all, but rather people watching monkeys eat a buffet! The bizarre festival takes place every November in Lopburi and sees around 4,000kg of bananas, apples, sweets and cakes laid out for the monkeys to gorge themselves on.

Baby Jumping Festival – Spain

If awards were given out for strange festivals then El Salto del Colacho (or The Baby Jumping Festival) in Castrillo de Murcia would surely come out on top. This bizarre ritual sees men dressed as ‘the spirit of evil’, running through the streets and jumping over new born babies. The festival dates all the way back to 1620 and is believed to cleanse the babies of ‘original sin and ensure them a safe passage through life.’

Wife Carrying Championships – Finland

Once a year Finland tests the bond of many a married couple by putting them through the wife carrying championships. The bizarre contest involves the husband carrying his wife on his back and trying to cross a 253.5 metre long obstacle course. If the running doesn’t beak them, the water stages are bound to push any couple to its limits!

Tunarama Festival – Australia

The Tunarama festival was originally set up to help promote the country’s tuna industry but it soon became apparent that only one particular event attracted the crowds: The Tuna Toss. The competition sees participants attach huge tunas to ropes and swing them round before releasing them, with the winner being the person who manages the furthest distance (think the hammer but with a giant fish!).

Night Of The Radishes Festival – Mexico

The radish might not be everyone’s favourite vegetable but it’s certainly popular in Oaxaca. The Mexican city holds an annual ‘Night Of The Radishes’ festival on December 23rd each year, where people carve all kinds of sculptures out of the vegetable. The festival dates all the way back to 1897 so, if you’re serious about your radishes, now you can celebrate with a whole crowd of radishes (we might have just made that word up).

Cheese Rolling Festival – England

Cheese is one of the most popular foods in the world but few places can be as devoted to the dairy product as Gloucestershire. The English county holds an annual Cheese Rolling Festival which sees hundreds of contestants race down a steep hill, chasing a giant wheel of cheese. As the pictures above show, things often get a little dangerous if anyone loses their footing!