We have a handful of fun festivals happening around the world this month, many of them well-known and sought after by revelers since time immemorial. Today, however, we continue with our list of other interestingly crazy festivals happening across the globe for the rest of the year!
The Burning Man Festival
Where: Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA
When: Last Monday of August to the first Monday of September
On the week leading up to and including American Labor Day, around 60,000 festival goers flock to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for The Burning Man experience. This annual festival dedicated to art, music, and the spirit of community, self-expression, and self-reliance has been going on since 1986. As a “burner,” however, you are expected to be not just a spectator — you are encouraged to contribute to the event, look after yourself, and observe the 10 principles of the multi-faceted festivity. Among the highlights of the festival is of course, the burning of the enormous wooden effigy on Saturday night from which the event got its name.
Where: India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries with significant presence of Tamil community
When: January or February
Thaipusam falls on the Tamil month of Thai (January or February), and is one of the key Hindu ceremonies celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, and other countries with significant Tamil communities such as Malaysia and Singapore. Certainly not for the faint of heart, tradition dictates for celebrants to bear a kavadi or physical burden — piercings in the cheeks, chest, back, or tongue done with skewers and hooks — as offering to Murugan, the Hindu god of war and victory. By inflicting pain on themselves, devotees show their gratitude and seek protection against ill luck.
Where: Buñol, Valencia, Spain
When: Last Wednesday of August
What looks like a gory bloodbath in the photos above is actually a tomato fight of epic proportion, wherein participants throw tomatoes at each other purely for fun. Legends say that the Tomatina started in 1945, when a tomato fight accidentally began when one person who was throwing tomatoes at some woodland animals missed and hit another person instead. Today, the people from all over the world who have heard about this chaotic yet fun festival flock to the town of Buñol in Valencia, Spain to get bathed in tomato paste, some donning goggles, caps, and gloves, but many others prefer not to bother with those. Remember, if you want to take photos during the festival, your camera should be waterproofed — your Lomo LC-A+ and Krab Underwater Housing are the perfect pair for this occasion!
Running of the Bulls (San Fermin Festival)
Where: Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
When: July 6 – 14
Another event for daredevils, the Running of the Bulls is part of the San Fermin Festival, an annual celebration held to honor Saint Fermin in the town of Pamplona. This practice of running before a small group of bulls set loose in the streets is the highlight of the week-long celebration, and is the most famous running of the bulls event. The first run is held on July 7, then each morning of the festival beginning at 8 AM. There are only three rules for participants of this crazy run: you must be at least 18 years old, are not in the influence of alcohol, and should not taunt the bulls.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Where: Gloucester, England
When: Spring Bank Holiday
It’s usual for people to say “Go for Gold!” but maybe you’re yet to hear someone say “Go for Cheese!” If you head to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, England on the Spring Bank Holiday, you’ll see people literally going after a large and round block of cheese rolling down the steep hill. Residents of the village of Brockworth used to be the only ones running — or even rolling and tumbling — after the 9 lbs Double Gloucester cheese, but now, many people all over the world dare to take part in this crazy race. As it may be close to impossible to catch the rolling round cheese, the first to reach the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. But we think reaching the finish line with only some cuts and bruises is a prize in itself; you can watch this video to see why!
Click here if you missed Part 1, or if you’ve ever attended any wacky, crazy, and unique celebrations like these festivals, share your snaps and interesting stories with us and submit a Locations article!