You thought Glastonbury was madness, but that’s because you’ve never jumped a baby, tossed a tuna, or bought a raffle ticket for airborne moose. Take a look at the 5 strangest festivals from around the globe.
Look, El Colacho is really quite simple. In the north of Spain, in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, grown men dress up like El Colacho (the devil) and take a running jump over los bambinos (babies. This not-even-slightly-outlandish practice, dating back to the 1620s, is designed to cleanse the babies of evil doing, and of course, it also provides a much-needed platform for local men to dress up like a frolicsome Evil Kineval and show off their longjump.
2] Monkey Buffet Festival
In Thailand’s Lopburi province, their annual Monkey Buffet Festival sees two tonnes of fruit laid out, all fancy-like, with the area’s 600 monkeys invited as the guests of honour. Table manners are evidently not a major concern, as the sight of all this fruit sends the monkeys a bit, well, apeshit: there’s feasting and fighting a-plenty, and quite a bit of that other F word, too.
3] Tuna Tossing
South Australia, Aus
There’s something fishy afoot in Port Lincoln, South Australia, host of the annual Tunarama Festival. Oh sure, it’s three days of nonstop tuna-themed revelry (over the Australia Day weekend) but the highlight of the festival is the tuna-tossing competition. It looks a bit like the Olympic hammerthrow, except with scales and fins: Contenders must compete to hurl a 10kg fish as far as they can (The record is 37m, set by former Olympic hammerthrower Sean Carlin). In 2008, organisers decommissioned the tossing of actual tuna, opting for an eco-friendly dummy tuna instead.
4] Naked Festival
All over Japan
“Naked festival” is a bit of a fib. In fact, “nearly naked festival” would be more accurate, because participants usually keep a modest loincloth where it really counts. Once these scantily clad men have gathered in all their podgy glory, they must compete for possession of two lucky charms which are passed into the crowd. Hidden among the regular loinclothees is one entirely naked man. He’s like a secretive, naked little Buddha, and good luck and happiness will come to those who touch him — though not inappropriately, obviously.
5] Moose Dropping Festival
Talkeetna, Alaska, USA
Wedged in among the many fantastic events in Alaska’s bustling festivals schedule, you’ll find the Moose Dropping Festival. The signature feature of the Moose Dropping Festival is a raffle where contestants bet on hunks of varnished moose shit with numbers on them. Then the organisers fly up in a helicopter and drop these numbered moose turds onto a bulls-eye below. You win if your number hits the bulls-eye. So it’s like a moose turd lottery. But what’s the prize? With any luck, a ticket on the next bus leaving Talkeetna, Alaska.
Also see www.australiantimes.co.uk/music-festivals