Strangest Holidays and Festivals From Around the WorldJust how far will people go? Here are the strangest holidays and traditions that people actually celebrate.
The 10-day event is celebrated annually during one of the hottest weeks of the year and it takes place in Yulin, China, where over 10,000 (decreased to 1,000 in 2015) dogs, and sometimes cats, are slaughtered for food. It wasn't a traditional festival by any means, in fact, the festival only started in the year 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging dog meat sales. Dogs are kept in a backstreet slaughterhouse, where they are beaten to death.
I won't judge them for eating dog meat, but why beating them? There are much less painful ways to get the meat.
I can't judge them for eating dog meat, but God, why do they need to be treated like that!
The Tinku Festival, also known as the "Punch Your Neighbor In the Face Day," is an old religious festival that takes place every May in Potosi and Macha, Bolivia, whereby people beat each other up. This little tradition is based in pre-Hispanic times, when the earth Goddess Pachamama, whom the Incas worshiped, demanded blood to ensure a good harvest. The more blood, the better the harvest. People took this quite literally — the fights used to frequently end in death, but nowadays it's lightly policed.
This would be a fun one
It is a contest wherein participants guess the exact time and day that the winter ice breaks up on the Tenana River at Nenana. The origin behind this tradition dates back in an especially long winter in 1917, when a group of railroad engineers placed bets on when the Tanana River would break. The largest reward was given to a man in 2008, who won over $300,000, and in addition over 10 million dollars have been given away combined.
Also known as the "naked man festival", the Hadaka Matsuri is celebrated usually in the summer or winter in Japan, in which the holidays differ slightly from town to town. It is led by thousands of men stripped down to a minimum amount of clothing, usually just a loincloth, in hopes of gaining luck for the entire year. Ones that take place in summer often involve parading a portable shrine through the streets or sometimes to the sea, while ones that take place in winter include a purification ritual with water, and a fight to grab a sacred object thrown by the priests which is supposed to bring a year of happiness.
Held annually in Lopburi, Thailand, this festival includes a buffet where tables are filled with vibrantly hued fruits and vegetables for the monkeys to eat.
On every last Wednesday of August, at around 30,000 people make their way to Brunol, Spain to participate in the La Tomatina, the World's Biggest Food Fight. Participants get involved in a tomato-throwing frenzy, usually lasting for about an hour, and fire trucks are brought in afterwards to wash the streets. The event has become one of the highlights on Spain's summer festivals, although there is no explanation as to why this tradition exists.
Also known as the "Antzar Eguna" or "Día de los Gansos", the Goose Day, celebrated on Sept. 5th, is an old tradition within San Antolín festivities that can be traced back nearly 350 years, in which participants attempt to behead a dead goose hanging from a rope in the middle of the town's harbor. Why it's done, nobody knows.
The festival of the Straw Bear is held every Plough Tuesday, in which a man or a boy would be completely covered in straw and would be led to houses to dance in exchange for money, food or beer. Though the custom died out in about 1909, it was resurrected by the Whittlesea Society in 1980.
The Anastenaria is a 3-day festival that begins on May 21st and takes place in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria, where revelers celebrate with various activities, including a procession, music and dancing, and animal sacrifice as well as fire-walking.
According to some legends, the ritual dates back in the Middle Ages when the church of Saint Constantine caught fire. As the church burned, crying voices were heard inside, and it was believed that it was the cry of the saint and his mother Saint Helena. Villagers who braved the flames returned with the icons, not burned nor hurt in any way.
As a Bulgarian, I've never heard of that festival.
Every 23rd of December, crowds gather in Oaxaca's main square to participate in a radish-carving contest, in which a cash prize is given to the best carver. This festival is actually very popular, and it started when market vendors tried to make their produce more appealing and eye-catching by carving them. It's such a hit that the city created a formal competition out of it, and it's become a tradition in the city ever since.
Celebrated every February 7th, this is the day to greet your neighbors with a 'hello' and a big wave. Neither the creator nor the origin behind the holiday is known, but it sure is a good way to make someone's day.