Gaja Mela Indian festivals with a difference
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India has a lot of affiliation and bonding with elephants. Not only is it a land of elephants but also has its own elephant God – Lord Ganesha who is revered as the lord of obstacles. Visit any South Indian temple and there is sure to be one elephant in the courtyard. Most of the images of gods brought out in procession today are brought in elephants. So the elephant has a vital and significant role  [...]

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Top 10 atypical festivals

Posted on October 7, 2010 | Top 1011 Comments


If you plan to a vacation at certain destination, how exciting it would be if you come to know that your vacation time is going to be full of surprises because of the celebration of a local festival? Festivals are meant only to have fun, a great chance to get out of the daily tensions of working or family life. And that they become quite special for the tourists who will like to participate for the first time on their vacation. Therefore, in this article, you will be introduced to top 10 unusual festivals so that when you go next time at these destinations, you can discover the craze and unlimited fun either for a day or for some days. If you cannot participate, at least, you can still enjoy via the cameras.

The Konaki Sumo festival – Japan

This is the festival of crying baby. Sound weird? Well, it is strange! When this festival arrives, the Sumo battalion, that involves very heavy-body fighters, picks up the babies. Obviously, seeing such lofty men, the babies automatically start crying out of fear. This is like a competition in which the lofty man who quickly breaks down becomes the winner. There is a belief behind this that the crying ensures the babies’ quick growth. So, on this special day, sobs and weeps are regarded as the healthy signs, more specifically, as a blessing for better health.

Konaki Sumo festival

The monkey buffet festival – Thailand

This festival really keeps the meaning of its name. So, as the name suggests, a grand meal is arranged for the apes of Lopburi. In this meal, a variety of vegetables and fruits are offered by the disciples, who via this festival pay homage to Hanuman, the monkey God. As soon as the monkeys throng the area, much chaos is created as they begin to attack the food. And yes, they also greet the spectators beyond the border line of the meals. Such a way of revering the lord has pulled an increasing number of tourists from all over the world.

Monkey buffet festival

The near death experience festival – Spain

This is the strange festival called Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme and is celebrated in the town of Las Nieves. It commemorates the return of the people from death – meaning those who were about to die, but have defeated death. Dedicated to the patron saint of regeneration named Santa Marta de Ribarteme, the festival’s major event is the parade in which the lucky survivors sleep in the coffins that are then taken until the church’s graveyard.

Near death experience festival

The goat tossing festival – Spain

This one is observed on January’s fourth Sunday in the Manganeses de la Polvorosa town and is devoted to St. Vincent de Paul. Weirdly, a young man hunts for a goat, grabs it, and takes it atop the local church’s belfry. After this, from a side, the goat is dropped from 50 feet height and is then mercifully caught by the other people. Even though many complaints have been reported against this risky tradition, it is still the center of attraction.

Goat tossing festival

The baby jumping festival – Spain

With the third one in the list, it is sure that Spain is the home of many weird festivals. This means people like to celebrate with the oddities. Celebrated in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, when Corpus Christi arrives annually, small babies are kept on a mattress over which the fiend-costumed males jump. The belief is that doing so will cleanse their sins and would open the doors of healthy life. This is the height of a fallacy! Kindly, do not try this on your own.

Baby jumping festival

The rolling cheese festival – UK

This challenging festival is observed in May on the Gloucestershire’s Cooper Hill. Herein, an executive does the job of tossing the cheese atop a profoundly vertical mount. As soon as this is done, a group of folks run down like anything to grab the rolling cheese. Yes, its fun to do so, but, the reality is that it is very dangerous and that it has reported several casualties until now. Rightly, children are allowed to participate, as for them, a race is held uphill.

Rolling cheese festival

The throwing food festival – Spain

Wow, one more in the list! It is the Ivrea orange festival in which the oranges are thrown during parades. If you go to Bunol, you will be stunned to see the tomato-throwing fight. Alternatively, there are people who don’t enjoy food throwing and so throw tar, paints, and dead rats. Can there be something madder than this one?

Throwing food festival

The piercing face festival – India

Also known as Thaipusam, it is celebrated in the south state of Tamil Nadu. It marks the birthday of the Hindu god, Murugan who is the son of Mother Parvati and father Lord Shiva. Featuring chants, prayers, and feasts, the festival also shows off a strange twist wherein the followers pierce their face and skin using skewers. The endured pain is the indication of the intense love for the lord.

Piercing face festival

The throwing color festival – India

This is Holi that is celebrated across India in March. This is the only festival in India in which people do not buy new clothes, but instead, use old clothes. Why? This is because their new clothes are not spoiled when the relatives throw a myriad of colors. Celebrated in the remembrance of Shree Krishna, a Hindu deity as the protector of life, the festival is made colorful by using powders of different colors.

Holi Festival

The Saint John bonfires – Spain

Celebrated from June 19 to 24, this Spanish festival features lighting the bonfires that are frequently fueled via furniture. What is weird about this festival then? Well, the children run over these fires. And for sure, this is dangerous. Around 86 women as well as 86 girls become the Bonfire Beauties who are entitled as the ‘Festival Queens’.

Saint John bonfires

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11 Comments »

  • Daffne D'Silva says:

    Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights.Italy gets Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood.

    Nice post! Thanks, keep posting more such interesting stuff!

  • Jacob Curran says:

    I love Spain and its whacky traditions..I go there thrice or four times a year to visit friends and ride horses!

    GREAT post! I LIKE IT :-)

  • Langie Giuliani says:

    Family traditions or cultural traits that have been carried forward form the past generations counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are, they provide something steady, reliable and safe in this confusing world!

  • Zelda says:

    In Spain the dead are more alive than the dead in any other country of the world as they celebrate the lives of their dead ancestors! Living in Spain has been a dream come true.I love the Spanish traditions , their way of life, their folk music, the bullfights and every thing possible!

  • Kylie Smithson says:

    Traditions are always in life-the rituals and customs that build common memories for children,offer comfort and stability in good times as well as bad, and create a sense of family identity. I love living in Spain and its warm and obscure traditions!

  • Samantha Fox says:

    By building relations, which can be forged eternally by mingling in long passed traditions and festivals, we create a source of love and personal pride and belonging that makes living in a less chaotic world easier..Spain’s quirky traditions show how much they into letting the beauty of humanity grow and take deep root among her people..Cheers to Spain!

  • Bob Murphy says:

    I grew up in Spain..As a kid, I was always fascinated about what I did when I was a baby and what I said and did as I grew..My Spanish festivals and traditions helped me develop my connectedness to my people and I’m glad that I’ve grown up to be a secure and sound human being..Festivals inculcate that spirit in you and help you develop healthy connections with the world at large..

  • Alec Savalas says:

    What will our children remember of us, ten,fifteen years from now? The mobile we bought or didn’t buy? Or the tone in our voices, the look in our eyes, the enthusiasm for life-for them-that we felt?They and we will remember the spirit of things , not the letter.Those memories will go so deep that no one could measure it, capture it,bronze it, or put it in a scrapbook. Spain has given me a lot of such beautiful memories. :-)

  • Jacques Doyle says:

    Really interesting post! Well-written and good description of the quirky festivals! I really liked it :-)

  • Doss Rudd says:

    An awesome post! Most of my growing years were in Spain and it feels great to read so much good stuff about one’s own country! Keep it going! Nice stuff :-)

  • Romilla Clearwaters says:

    Spain is magical and charming! I love Spain for its rich culture music, odd traditions and festivals..It simply drives my life and makes living so much fun and enjoyable.. :-)

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