A buffet for monkeys, a tomato throwing extravaganza, a wife carrying contest! Welcome to some of the world's most unusual festivals - While some are steeped in tradition, others are held just because they are fun.
Baby Jumping (El Colacho) In Spain
Every July, the people of Spain celebrate the Catholic Festival of Corpus Christi with parades, mystery plays and various other fun celebrations. However, the town of Castrillo de Murcia takes it to a whole new level by adding an event called El Colacho or Baby Jumping.
While the origins of the tradition which dates all the way back to 1620 are a little murky, the event is held to ward off evil spirits. The El Colacho, a man dressed in a bright yellow and red outfit, represents the devil who runs from the entrance of a church and jumps over mattresses upon which lie all the babies who have been born during the year. Besides having that magical ability of shooing off evil spirits, the El Colacho also has to be a very agile jumper! No wonder, it is sometimes dubbed as the world's most dangerous festival event.
Monkey Buffet Festival
Celebrated on the last Sunday in November, this festival is equivalent of Thanksgiving for the 2,000 monkeys that reside in Lopburi, Thailand. It is the one day of the year when they can dine on their favorite foods in peace and to their heart's content, without being shooed away.
Started twenty years ago, by a local businessman as a way to thank the monkeys who are the city's main tourist attraction, the buffet has evolved into a full-blown festival that attracts - yes you guessed it - even more tourists!
South Korea's Mud Festival
The Boryeong Mud Festival started as fun beach event in 1998. Today, it attracts over 1.5 million visitors who throng to Boryeong, South Korea, every July, for the nine-day event that promises 'well-being through mud'. If you like the idea of mud-slides, mud massages, mud football etc. etc, this is the one festival you will definitely not want to miss!
Roswell UFO Festival
While they may look like the real deal, these are just some of the participants of the UFO Festival that takes place every July in Roswell, New Mexico. The four-day event, includes many guest speakers and 'Space' entertainment. While enthusiasts do not have to attend the UFO programs, they do have to dress the part - And most are happy to oblige. After all, isn't that what it's all about?
Wife Carrying World Championships
What started as a joke in Sonkajarvi,Finland about 19 years ago, has become a festival that is held in many cities around the world and even, has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. The crazy festival entails running around a 253-meter track that has been set up with multiple obstacles, all while carrying a spouse behind. While there is no maximum weight, the wife has to weigh at least 110lbs in order to qualify. The reward for all this work? - The equivalent of the wife's weight in beer!
If you still craving for more crazy festivals, check out England's Cheese Rolling Festival and Spain's Tomato Festival - Both are equally fun and crazy. If you have been involved or know of any other fun festivals, be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.