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wink ~ The World's Weirdest Festivals ~ - 06-29-2009, 09:39 AM




One of the messiest festivals can be found in Buñol, Spain, on the last Wednesday of August. La Tomatinathe world's largest tomato fight — is a weeklong celebration that includes music, parades and fireworks, but is highlighted by the tomato fight in the town square. The battle begins at high noon after more than 300,000 pounds of tomatoes are trucked in. For one hour, locals and tourists pelt and pummel each other, creating a memorable and mushy mess. The history of the festival is murky. It started in either 1944 or 1945, according to various theories, as either a food fight among friends, the bullying of a bad musician or a rally against dictator Francisco Franco. Regardless of its origins, this pulpy tradition is here to stay.






For an out-of-this-world festival, visit Roswell, N.M., in July. Each year the Roswell UFO Festival attracts UFO enthusiasts from around the world. There is an alien costume contest and fireworks, plus serious discussion among a panel of UFO experts. Roswell has been a beacon for UFO believers for decades. In 1947, debris from a "flying disc" was recovered at a crash site near Roswell. Since then, official statements from the military have changed, and conspiracy theories abound.






Sonkajärvi, Finland, is home to the annual Wife Carrying World Championship each July. The contest dates only to the 1990s, but locals joke it harks back to the days when men would steal women from neighboring villages to be their wives. Today the prize isn't a wife, but the woman's weight in beer. Men can carry their own wife, a neighbor's or any female companion. The methods for wife-carrying vary, with the technique pictured above being the most popular and successful. The world-record time to complete the 235.5-meter obstacle course is a speedy 55 seconds.






The San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain, is best known for the Running of the Bulls. On eight mornings of the nine-day festival, the narrow, cobblestoned streets of the village are barricaded. Participants — dressed in traditional white shirts and pants with red waistbands and neckerchiefs — gather to wait for a rocket blast that signals the herd has left the corral. The bulls are released into the streets to find their way to the bullring. The race lasts only a few minutes, during which time runners taunt the beasts by running in front of and alongside them while trying not to get attacked. Hundreds of injuries occur each year, however, and since 1910, 14 people have been killed.






In the small northern Italian town of Ivrea, the Battle of the Oranges Festival is held every year during a three-day carnival leading up to Lent. Nearly 3,000 people gather in the piazzas of this village of just under 25,000 people. Orange-throwing is said to represent the battle against an oppressive emperor in the 12th century. Participants gather in the streets awaiting the arrival of their volunteer enemies — dressed in protective padding and helmets — riding in carts and on truck beds. Spectators are advised to wear red hats or scarves, a sign that they are not combatants.





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06-29-2009, 09:39 AM



In the idyllic English countryside, a masochistic competition takes place each May — all for a wheel of cheese. (And possibly, bragging rights.) At the Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, participants chase, roll and tumble after 8-pound wheels of Double Gloucester cheese. The nearly vertical hill causes the cheese wheels to reach speeds of up to 70 miles an hour. The winner merely has to catch the cheese before it reaches the bottom of the hill. Some believe this tradition dates back to the pagan celebration of the summer solstice, with the wheel of cheese being symbolic of the sun.






Since the 1600s, the northern Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia has celebrated the El Colacho Festival with a baby-jumping tradition. The festival is meant to rid the town of evil, and coincides with the Christian feast day of Corpus Christi. A parade during the festival symbolically gathers all the evil in town and marches it to the church. To exorcise evil from innocent children, a different technique is employed. All the babies who were born in the last year are laid out on mattresses. Then, men dressed in costumes meant to represent the devil — el Colacho — leap over the mattresses, thus cleansing the children of evil.






One of the world's most unusual festivals isn't just for humans. In Lopburi, Thailand, the annual Monkey Buffet Festival is a feast for the more than 600 macaques that live in the province. The celebration is held in honor of King Rama, who rewarded his ally Hanuman (the monkey king) with the land that eventually became Lopburi. A buffet of more than 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, ice cream, sodas and more is set out in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yot temple as a thank-you to the furry neighbors. Much of the feast is provided by local hoteliers, who are happy to do so since the event attracts thousands of tourists to the town every year.






The Empire Asparagus Festival in Empire, Mich., is dedicated entirely to this perennial vegetable. Michigan is one of the top asparagus producers in the U.S., but since Empire is known more for its artsy side than its agricultural one, the festival includes many touches of whimsy. Each May, revelers gather to celebrate with a parade, a 5K fun run, asparagus hat-making and even an "ode to asparagus" poetry contest. The food at the festival is hardly your typical fair fare: You can dine on everything from deep-fried asparagus to asparagus bratwurst, and wash it all down with asparagus beer.






The Boryeong Mud Festival held in South Korea each July is popular with locals and foreigners alike. The muddy fields nearby are poor for agriculture, but since the mud is rich in minerals, it has become a lucrative source for local cosmetics manufacturers. Each year the mud is dug up and shipped to a local beach, where festival-goers can slide, frolic and wrestle in the purified product. Outside of the festival period, the use of the mud is limited to the cosmetics industry.



courtesy of msn travel


Last edited by thilzz; 06-29-2009 at 01:29 PM.
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06-29-2009, 09:57 AM

maaaaaruuu :X:x
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06-29-2009, 09:57 AM

apooo nikan inna beri minissu...
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06-29-2009, 10:22 AM

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apooo nikan inna beri minissu...
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06-29-2009, 10:29 AM

Funny festivals.

Have seen some of them on 'Traveller', on 'Discovery Channel' long time ago...

Thanks for sharing
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06-29-2009, 10:33 AM

wife usssagena yana ekanum patta
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06-29-2009, 10:34 AM

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ayi..?? me lamai udin paninne maha pissu yakku tikak...
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06-29-2009, 10:40 AM

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ayi..?? me lamai udin paninne maha pissu yakku tikak...
api samahara ayata ewa pissu wikara wage penunata e gollo ehema dewal karanne e gollange believes traditions etc nisa ne.
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06-29-2009, 10:40 AM

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wife usssagena yana ekanum patta
aniwa
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