Festivals are a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place and experience something unique. But if you're looking for something truly unusual, these festivals from around the world will surely pique your curiosity. From a tomato fight in Spain to a mud festival in Korea, these events are definitely not your average festival.
The Boryeong Mud Festival is a festival where participants cover themselves in mud from head to toe. The festival also features mud wrestling, mud sliding, and other mud-related activities.
Location: Boryeong, South Korea
Date: The last two weeks of July
The Day of the Dead is a festival where Mexicans honor their deceased loved ones. The festival features colorful costumes, parades, and offerings of food and drink.
Location: Throughout Mexico
Date: November 1-2
Up Helly Aa is a festival where participants dress up in Viking costumes and parade through the streets carrying torches. The festival also features the burning of a replica Viking longship.
Location: Lerwick, Scotland
Date: The last Tuesday in January
Carnival is a festival where participants wear elaborate costumes and dance in the streets. The festival also features music, parades, and food.
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date: February or March
Songkran is a festival where participants engage in a massive water fight. The festival also features parades and offerings of food and drink.
Location: Throughout Thailand
Date: April 13-15
Yi Peng is a festival where participants release thousands of lanterns into the sky. The festival also features parades and offerings of food and drink.
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Also known as the Festival of the Steel Phallus, the Kanamara Matsuri Festival is a celebration of fertility and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The highlight of the festival is a procession of giant phalluses, which are carried through the streets by participants.
Location: Kawasaki, Japan
Date: First Sunday in April
Kukur Tihar is a festival in Nepal dedicated to dogs. It is believed that dogs are messengers of Yama, the god of death, and are honored during this festival with garlands, tika (a red mark on the forehead), and delicious food.
The Underwater Music Festival is an annual event held in the waters off the Florida Keys. Participants listen to music through underwater speakers while they dive and snorkel, creating a unique and immersive experience.
Location: Looe Key Reef, Florida, USA
The International Hair Freezing Contest is a competition that challenges participants to create the most unusual frozen hairstyles while soaking in the hot springs. The extreme cold conditions cause hair to freeze in place, resulting in some truly bizarre and creative looks.
Location: Takhini Hot Springs, Yukon, Canada
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated in honor of Lord Murugan. Participants pierce their bodies with hooks and skewers as a form of penance and to demonstrate their devotion to the deity.
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
The Night of Radishes is a festival in Mexico where participants create elaborate sculptures out of radishes. The sculptures depict scenes from Mexican history, folklore, and religion and are displayed in a competition.
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Date: December 23
The Battle of the Wine is a festival in Haro, Spain, where participants spray each other with wine using everything from buckets to water guns. The festival is a celebration of Saint Peter, the town's patron saint.
Location: Haro, Spain
Date: June 29
The World Toe Wrestling Championship is an annual event held in England where participants compete in a tournament of toe wrestling. Contestants lock their toes and try to force their opponent's foot to the ground.
Location: Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Date: Every year in the month of August
The World Bodypainting Festival is an annual event where artists from around the world showcase their skills by painting models with intricate and creative designs. The festival also includes live music, art exhibitions, and workshops
Location: Klagenfurt, Austria