By Shubham Goswami
Festivals are important as they give us a break from our mundane lives and bring us together as a community. But some people decide to truly stand out in their festivities.
In this article, we bring you a compilation of some of the craziest festivals from around the world.
The Songkran Festival
Imagine squirting everyone on the streets, from next door neighbors to random strangers, with cool water guns. It’s the festival of Holi minus the colours. But the location is not India. It’s Thailand. It is the Thai way to celebrate the New Calendar Year every April!
Thai people fill the streets in large numbers on this auspicious day, armed with water guns and buckets. And oh wait, if that isn’t fun enough, you can hire an Elephant for yourself too!
The Boryeong Mud Festival
In spite of being a polite and unobtrusive race, the South Koreans take partying to a whole new level. An international mud fight attracts visitors from across the globe to the town of Boryeong every summer. It is Spain’s La Tomatina with a murky twist to it.
The mud, taken from the Boryeong mud flats, is rich in minerals and finds use as a raw material for the local cosmetics industry!
La Pourcailhade: (Festival of the Pig)
You may find dogs cute, even horses. But Pigs! Well, the French sure seem to be very passionate about their swine. The town of Trie-sur-Baise used to be the numero uno pig market in France. The piggy business is no longer in its heyday. But that does not mean the Frenchmen should take his pig for granted!
Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme (Near Death Festival)
Nobody likes talking about death. Even the most intrepid individual doesn’t want to face it. People who want to go to heaven do not want to die to get there either.
But it is a different story in the town of Las Nieves. If you find yourself in this small Spanish town on the 29th of July, do not be surprised to see a cavalcade carrying people, mostly youngsters in coffins. No, there was no genocide. The people in the coffins are alive and kicking. What unites them is that all of them have had a near-death experience in the last 12 months. They are observing this ritual out of gratitude.
The festival is observed in the honour of Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the patron saint of Resurrection.
Argungu Fishing Festival
Don’t count out the Africans. Men in the town of Argungu, Nigeria compete in a fishing competition every year where the man with the single biggest catch is declared the winner. Sounds commonplace, doesn’t it?
Remember: Hands only! That’s right, no fishing equipment. So, if you are looking for a decent catch, you better flex those muscles!
Bolas de Fuego (Fireball Festival)
Let’s turn our attention to South America. In the year 1922, a volcanic eruption almost sent the town of Nejapa, El Salvador into oblivion.
To commemorate the fateful event, the residents of Nejapa gather at the town square every year on 31st August. The celebration is somewhat bizarre, though. Two groups of young combatants throw burning rags at each other. They valiantly dodge the fireballs hurled at them and also counter attack the opposition while bystanders watch.
Eerily, the custom seems to behoove of a nation where violence is perennial.
This Japanese festival comes with a unique combination. Sumos – the gigantic rikishis from Japan and babies – lots of them.
Shocked? Now, who gave you the idea that ruthless wrestlers can’t be doting fathers? For a change, the wrestlers do not compete to force each other out of the dohyo. Instead, they compete in a more (ahem) difficult task. The wrestlers hold up a baby each (and Sumos are not known to have butter fingers) to see who’s baby will cry first! You can bet the men were much better off wrestling.
That brings us to the end of this compilation of super-crazy festivals. Keep following us for similar mind-boggling stories from around the world.
Image Credits: Google Images