The world is full of amusements. It always presents you with many astonishing facts. Some festivals celebrated around the world are so weird that we cannot even imagine that such festivals exist! Here are a few of them.
Wife Carrying World Championship — Finland
Wife carrying or eukonkanto in Finnish, is a sport in Sonkajärvi, Finland, originated in 1992. The origin of this tradition is not known exactly. But today, wife carrying is practiced around the world. Participants are allowed to carry their wives in a variety of ways — including piggyback, fireman’s carry or Estonian-style, where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around her husband’s shoulders. They carry her across a 253.5-meter track riddled with obstacles. The prize is awarded based on the wife’s weight in beer.
The Baby Jumping Festival — Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
Known in Spanish as El Colacho, this festival happens sixty days after Easter. The Baby Jumping Festival is a baptismal ceremony wherein babies who were born over the last year are absolved of sin. The religious custom dates back to the early 1600s. Men dressed in traditional “devilish” clothing terrorize the crowd before running down the street and jumping over the babies who have been carefully laid on pillows. No injuries have been reported till date. But the Catholic higher-ups frown upon the ritual.
Mud Festival — Boryeong, South Korea
This annual festival occurs in July in the village of Boryeong, 200 kilometers south of Seoul. The festival is not historic by any means — the first one took place in 1998 — and it was originally created as a marketing event for Boryeong mud cosmetics. The mud from the Boryeong mud flats is considered rich in natural minerals and is used to make beauty products. The two-week promotional event is now popular with locals and tourists alike. Notable festivities include a mud pool, mudslides, mud prison and mud skiing.
World Toe Wrestling Championships — England, UK
The location of the World Toe Wrestling Championships varies, but the practice originated in the village of Wetton, Staffordshire, in the 1970s. It was born out of the desire for the UK to have its own championship in some type of sport. Just like arm wrestling, two people go up against one another in each match, which is won by the best of three. Players can only take part in the tournament after a thorough toe examination by a qualified nurse.
La Tomatina — Buñol, Valencia, Spain
The Spanish Tomato Festival has run annually in August during a weeklong celebration in Buñol since 1945, when a rowdy crowd took the tomatoes from a vegetable stall and started a food fight. The hour-long tomato fight used up an estimated 145,000 kg of tomatoes in 2015. Since 2013 La Tomatina has been a ticketed event to limit participants to just 20,000. Before then, up to 50,000 guests had been reportedly involved in the food fight. After an hour of free-for-all tomato tossing, trucks spray down the streets and many participants wash themselves in the pool of tomatoes.
Air Guitar World Championship — Oulu, Finland
The Air Guitar World Championship has been held annually in Oulu, Finland, since 1996 as part of the Oulu Music Video Festival. What started as a joke has turned into a serious draw for the event. Participants must play air guitar on stage in two rounds with each lasting at least one minute (one song is chosen by the participant and one by the organizer), they must play air guitar only (no drums, piano, etc.) and are scored out of 6.0. The ideology behind the event is a simple one: ‘Wars would end and all the bad things would go away if everyone just played air guitar.’
So, if you are on a world tour, make sure that you definitely visit these places and enjoy the festivals. Make a bag full of memories and cherish them for your lifetime.