The Weirdest Festivals on Earth
Collected by Becca Blond, AFAR Local Expert
From flying fruitcakes to baby jumping, and from cheese rolling to oil wrestling, the world is full of some truly weird festivals. Make this the year to check out some of these strange gatherings.
Phahon Yothin, Tambon Tha Hin, Amphoe Mueang Lop Buri, Chang Wat Lopburi 15000, Thailand
Thai monkeys living in Lopburi, north of Bangkok, have a festival have not only in their honor, but one created specifically for them, each November. Begun by a local businessman hoping to boost tourism to the province in 1989, today the Monkey...
Lotificacion San Jose, Nejapa, El Salvador
Once a year on August 31st, the little town of Nejapa, just outside of San Salvador hosts the Fireball Festival (Bolas de Fuego). Started 90 years ago to commemerate the eruption of a nearby volcano, balls of cloth wrapped with wire are soaked in...
304 Cañon Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, USA
A quirky mountain town with a large Wicca population located just a few miles west of big sister Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs is home to some of the weirdest festivals in the U.S. Every October, around Halloween, they host the Emma Crawford...
09109 Castrillo de Murcia, Burgos, Spain
Do the Spanish have the weirdest festivals in the world? I asked myself this as I made the 43-kilometer trek by taxi from the charming city of Burgos in northern Spain (no public transportation to this remote village). Since 1621, the...
Kırkpınar, Kemertaş Mahallesi, 69000 Kırkpınar Köyü/Bayburt Merkez/Bayburt, Turkey
“Enjoy watching groups of grown men dressed in leather and doused in olive oil grappling with each other?” asked my guidebook. As is true of many cultural traditions, it’s easy to mistake what this festival is all about. Kirkpinar is about honor....
Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia
Watching camels gallop (if gallop is indeed what camels do) around the dusty Outback track at the Lasseters Camel Cup is a sight unlike anything you've ever seen. Each of the 5,000 guests in attendance carries on like they're in on some great...
337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
I know, I know, Lollapalooza may be a little overpriced and overrated. But the truth is, it is still one of the best music festivals in the country. Amazing live performances by well-known artists and new talents, worldwide travellers, a quirky...
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