Hey globetrotter, here is something fun and interesting for you to read (some of it can be shocking too!). So what are festivals and why festivals are celebrated? Festivals are popular events that are born from traditional customs or religious rituals. It can mean everything from having fun to meeting friends, getting to know new people, treats for the kids, and much more. But do you know that festivals can be weird too? Well, read on to know how weird or scary or fierce or bizarre they can get. Here’s a curated list of the unique festivals of the world that are hard to believe that it actually exists.

Curated List Of Unique Festivals Around The World That Will Leave You In Awe

With the world full of weird and wonderful things, why not plan your next trip to a destination which celebrates one of these weirdest festivals? 

1Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea

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When & Where: July, Daecheon Beach

Okay, let’s start with the easy ones. The famous Mud Festival is hosted every year by the people of the coastal town known as Boryeong. The tiny town is situated in the South Chungcheong Province of South Korea on the coast of the Yellow Sea. At the mud festival, you can play all sorts of muddy games like mud fireworks, mud wrestling, and more. Filled with fun and frolic and music, it makes it to the list of most weird festivals around the world. This fun festival is quite popular! If you are in Boryeong in July, stop by to jump into the mud with the locals. They even have a safe Kids’ zone too. Just go for it!

2La Tomatina – Spain

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When & Where: August, Buñol

World’s Biggest Food Fight, La Tomatina is a messy festival that happens annually on the last Wednesday of August. Thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to take part in one of the craziest festivals that mankind has ever seen. Sharp at 11:00 am many trucks haul tons of over-ripe tomatoes into the center of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. From here starts the hour-long epic brawl where people hurl tomatoes at each other. Prior to 2013, participation in the tomato fight was free, but to limit the number of people to just 20,000, official ticketing has been introduced. It’s definitely worth a try if you’re in the area during this time.

3Cheung Chau Bun Festival – Hong Kong

The Sweet white buns, Cheung Chau Bun Festival

When & Where: May, Cheung Chau

The next destination. Hong Kong it is. Usually known to be the travel destination for shopping freaks, Hong Kong can be visited for several other reasons too. To top it all, their festival makes its way into the list of unique festivals of the world. Hong Kong’s Cheung Chau Bun Festival is celebrated every year in the month of May of the Gregorian calendar. The festival falls on the same day as the birth date of Gautama Buddha. The fervor of the festival begins days before. You can witness stacks of sweet buns piled one upon the other across the streets. Some rise up to 60 feet high in the air. On the day of the event, competitors race against time to climb the sweet bun towers and collect as many buns as possible. Wow! Isn’t that interesting?

4Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race – England

Freshly baked Yorkshire Puddings

When & Where: June, Brawby

Well, who wouldn’t want to have a nice big bowl of Yorkshire pudding, right? But it’s not eating we are talking about here. The idea here is all about cooking a giant-sized Yorkshire pudding and converting it into a boat! The pudding’s not going to melt, because it is made waterproof with yacht varnish. If you were to visit the place called Brawby in the U.K. during this time, you can see many pudding boats racing. The idea was first thought of by Simon Thackray, in the late ’90s. The first Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race made its way in June of 1999. The race is mostly held in the month of June or early July. So ideally the festival is not made for eating, they’re made for racing.

5Air Guitar World Championship – Finland

Rear view of a large group of people enjoying an Air Guitar concert performance. There are many hands applauding and taping the show.

When & Where: August, Oulu

A weird festival held in Finland every year in the month of August, the Air Guitar Championship is quite a famous festival. For those who haven’t heard it, this weird contest does not require one to have any musical instrument at all. Participants from all over the world flock to Finland to play an imaginary rock and roll, without the instruments. The whole purpose of this championship is to bring world peace. As the organizers say all bad things disappear if everyone in the world played the Air Guitar, “Make Air, and Not War”. What began as an event to promote world peace is today amongst the top unusual festivals in the world.

6Underwater Music Festival – Florida

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When & Where: July, Looe Key Reef

For more than 30 years musicians, divers, and snorkelers have come to Florida to celebrate the Underwater Music Festival. Also popularly known as Lower Keys UMF, it is one of the strangest and most unique music festivals that gives an absolute visual treat for all. The aim of this rare festival is to celebrate the exotic coral reef and to create awareness for its preservation. Specially sculpted underwater instruments are used for the grand performance. Participants mime along to pre-selected radio playlists and ocean-themed songs streaming live from underwater speakers. Isn’t that amazing?

7Toe Wrestling Championship – United Kingdom

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When & Where: August, Ashbourne

The list of unique festivals of the world is incomplete without the mention of the World Toe Wrestling Championship. The sport involves two opponents who go up against one another by interlocking their feet in an attempt to pin each other’s foot down, just like how it is with arm wrestling. The United Kingdom wanted some type of sporting competition that they can call their own, hence this championship. It is definitely one of the most unique festivals in the world that is weird enough to catch your fancy.

8International Kite Festival, India

View of Colorful Decorative Kites Against Cloudy Sky, Image Source: istock

When & Where: January, Gujarat

The International Kite Festival in Gujarat (Uttarayan) marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer. Many cities in Gujarat organize kite competitions so that people are exposed to the Sun rays. It is believed that the sun’s rays help in getting rid of skin infections and other illnesses associated with the winter season. Kites are thin sheets of colorful paper stretched, glued, and tied onto springy bamboo frames and attached to a long ball of string. Kites of all shapes and colors fill the sky during this time. It’s truly a sight to behold!

9Naki Sumo, Japan

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When & Where: April, Sensoji Temple

The Naki Sumo Crying Baby Festival is one of the unique festivals in Japan where sumo wrestlers make babies cry. Generally, all around the world, people do everything to stop the baby from crying but this festival is an exception. Naki Sumo is a 400-year-old annual festival that shows the ability of sumo wrestlers to make babies cry. Whoever is successful in making the baby cry first is declared the winner. It is believed that the screams of babies can ward off evil spirits and can also make the child grow strong and healthy.

10La Pourcailhade Festival – France

Four men in fancy plush pig costumes posing. Image Source: istock

When & Where: August, Trie-sur-Baïse

The French La Pourcailhade also called the Festival of the Pig definitely makes it to the list of most weird festivals around the world. One of the most eaten animals in the world is the pig. You can have endless dishes with pigs like Roast Pork Belly, Thai Pork Salad, Pork Sorpotel, Coorg Pandi Curry, and a lot more. Rather than being a festival about pork, it’s all about the Pig. You can find things like the Best Pig Outfit competition, sausage-eating wars, and mini markets which have a spread of a variety of delicious edible pig parts. Locals dress up with pigtails and noses to show their support for the pig farming industry.

Also Read: The 8 Most Colorful Festivals Around The World

Why not plan your next trip around one of these unique festivals as they’re a destination in themselves? Which according to you are the most bizarre festivals of them all, do share your views in the comment section below.

What are the biggest and the best festivals in the world?

Kumbh Mela in India, Brazilian Carnival, Rio, and Venice carnivals are some of the biggest and best festivals in the world.

What is the oldest festival in the world?

Nowruz, a traditional Persian festival that dates back to the pre-Islamic Persian period, is the oldest festival in the world.

What country do you think has the most interesting festivals?

The land of festivals and fairs, India has the most interesting festivals of them all. With several religions, different cultures, and traditions, each day has some kind of celebration. 


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