We sit here complaining about how pointless our festivals are. Then internet happens.
Up Helly AA is quite a dramatic event occurring once every year in the Shetland Islands. It involves a lot of men running rampant on the streets with their Viking helmets on and fire lit torches in their hands. The main event is the burning down of life-size replicas of long ships.
They spend their entire lives toughening up and weighing down. And then every April they are handed a baby to see if they have baby friendly hands. If the baby in your hands cries, you lose. The happier the baby, happier the sumo.
Around the month of June or July in 1947 an unidentified object had crash landed near Roswell, New Mexico. The army had been quoted saying that a ‘flying disk’ had been recovered from the crash site. However, the following day the statement was changed to indicate that a weather balloon had crashed. This immediately gave birth to hundreds of conspiracy theorists. Either this was a shabby cover up by the government or this was a scheme to get everybody fired up which lead to the creation of this UFO micro-culture. We are definitely not alone.
If you know what or who a ‘Redneck’ is, you don’t need any further clarification regarding the calibre of this festival. In 1996 when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, the media portrayed them as “A bunch of rednecks holding a sporting event.” They took serious offense to this and then ended up doing just that every year! The events include toilet seat throwing, armpit serenade and diving in a muddy pool.
Weird festivals come out of Spain. This might be the lowest point of their inhumane urges. Every fourth Sunday of January in the small Spanish town of Manganeses de la Polvorosa, young boys find goats, tie them up and then fling them off the top of a church after which they are apparently caught by the villagers on the ground.
Around the month of November in Thailand there is a festival which includes an ‘all you can eat’ buffet which is laid out under the open sky and is free of charge as all the villagers contribute to this buffet. But you can’t eat here, unless you’re a monkey. If that's the case, how are you reading this?
Every year in the town of Argungu, Nigeria all the local men come together to do some fishing. The only catch is that you have to use your bare hands to pull out the biggest fish in the river. If you catch a big fish, local women will make some assumptions.
The Goose pulling festival is quite appropriately named as it involves pulling out the heads of helpless geese. Every year on shrove Tuesday various towns throughout Germany and Netherlands celebrate this cringe worthy festival where a goose is tied to a wire or a pole and men take turns at pulling out its head. After a few unsuccessful attempts the head falls off by itself. Lately, dead geese are being used in the festival because ‘animal rights’ is something that we came up with.
That’s right, this festival involves moose poop. In the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska where the national animal is the moose, this festival is held every year. The highlight of this festival being dropping moose shit on targets from a hot air balloon.
This fiesta is held in the town of Las Nieves, Spain. It is also called the ‘Near Death Festival.’ It involves hundreds of people attending the mass in honour of Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the patron saint of resurrection. The highlight of this festival is seeing a bunch of people being carried in coffins. These people are not dead yet, they just had a near death experience in the last 12 months and want to show their gratitude.
There is a town in Japan called Kawasaki. The people here like to worship dicks. Familiar much? The festival is centred around a local penis-idolizing shrine in Kawasaki. The shrine was once popular among prostitutes who prayed for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Divine protections for business prosperity, matrimonial harmony and easy delivery are also sought here.
El Colacho is yet another intense ordeal originating and thankfully ending in Spain. In the small town of Castrillo de Murcia, every year on the feast of Corpus Christi, any baby born in the last 12 months is kept on a mattress in the middle of the street. It does not end there. All the men of the village then take turns at jumping over this mattress. Injuries are very common here. No shit. But rumours say that typically the jumpers are the ones injured.
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