Weird & Wacky Festivals Around the World

  • Austinites get weird during Eeyore's Birthday Party

    Eeyore's Birthday Party in Austin, TX

    If you want to attend the biggest birthday party – and maybe the only birthday party – dedicated to a donkey, you'll have to go to Austin for Eeyore's Birthday Party. Each April, Austinites and visitors gather in Pease Park for live music, drum circles, outrageous costumes and an extra dose of Austin weirdness, all to celebrate Winnie the Pooh's melancholy companion.

    Photo courtesy of Jack Newton

  • Mud wrestling at the Boryeong Mud Festival

    Boryeong Mud Festival in Boryeong, South Korea

    The mineral-rich muds from the Boryeong Mud Flats, a region located outside of Seoul, are used in the manufacture of high-end Korean cosmetics. To take advantage of the supposed medicinal value of the mud, tens of thousands of Korean and international tourists flock to Boryeong in July for mud wrestling, slinging and other antics at the Boryeong Mud Festival.

    Photo courtesy of Stinkie Pinkie

  • A participant races with his wife toward the finish line

    Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland

    The biggest event in wife carrying – a sport hailing from Finland – takes place each July at the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland. According to event organizers, in order to be successful at the event, which involves a man carrying his female partner through an obstacle course, both partners should have strength, tenacity, eroticism and rhythm.

    Photo courtesy of Wife Carrying World Championships

  • Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous in Finger Lakes, NY

    Each summer, hundreds of people from around the United States come together for a very unique camping trip, the Annual Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous. Not only are participants required to sleep in pre-1840s style tents, they're not permitted to wear sunglasses or modern footwear, and it's against the rules to pull out your cell phone at any time.

    Photo courtesy of Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous

  • Sample garlic ice cream at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

    Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA

    Every July, the fine folks of Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World located just a short drive south east of San Jose, celebrates their favorite culinary ingredient with three days of garlic-themed fun. If you plan to attend, pack extra toothpaste. Some of the foods on offer include garlic bread, garlic french fries, garlic popcorn and even free garlic ice cream.

    Photo courtesy of Jason Riedy

  • Creative historical reenactment at its best

    Battle of Oranges in Ivrea, Italy

    Most historical reenactors stick with traditional weapons of the age, but not so at Ivrea's Battle of the Oranges. During the festival, townsfolk split into teams and gather to recreate the insurrection of the king in 1194, but instead of replica weapons, they use oranges in what's billed as Italy's biggest food fight.

    Photo courtesy of Giò-S.p.o.t.s.

  • Carved radishes for Noche de Rabanos

    Night of the Radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico

    Noche de Rabanos, or Night of the Radishes, is a rather unusual folk art competition that takes place two days before Christmas in the Mexican town of Oaxaca. Radish growers from around the region gather together for one huge radish-carving contest, where abnormally large radishes are carved into elaborate sculptures depicting historical scenes.

    Photo courtesy of phylevn

  • Crowds cheer on a bog snorkeler

    World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

    Each August, the Waen Rhydd peat bog near Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales hosts the World Bog Snorkeling Championship, where competitors from around the globe compete to see how fast they can navigate a 120-yard course through a trench cut out of a peat bog, using only a snorkel and fins to propel them. Why would anyone want to be good at bog snorkelling? Well, that's a question for another day.

    Photo courtesy of Ethreon

  • Getting painting at the World Bodypainting Festival

    World Bodypainting Festival in Poertschach, Austria

    The sights at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria are as beautiful as they are bizarre. This annual July event brings together the most talented body painters and makeup artists in the world for a week of competitions, fashion shows, workshops and exhibitions

    Photo courtesy of thomaspunktpetter

  • Bun towers under construction

    Cheung Chau's Bun Festival in Hong Kong

    In May, the small island of Cheung Chau just off the coast of Hong Kong hosts the unusual Bun Festival. In the days leading up to the festival, the residents of the island's fishing villages construct 60-foot-tall towers of sweet buns, and on the day of the festival, competitors race to climb the towers, collecting as many buns as they can.

    Photo courtesy of Tomoaki INABA