World's Strangest Festivals
8. Roswell UFO Festival, Roswell, New Mexico
Famous for the UFO crash that may or may not have happened, Roswell is a city that loves anything extraterrestrial. The town is home to the famous Roswell alien museum and believers from around the world gather every July to commemorate the famous UFO crash. Featuring experts, authors, researchers, and lecturers who dissect every part of the infamous incident, the celebration lasts 5 days and also features a costume contest and a parade.
7. The Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Italy
An historic carnival takes place every February in the Italian town of Ivrea to celebrate the rebellion from a tyrant in the middle ages. The celebration culminates in the painful battle of the oranges. Participants are divided into nine combat teams, who throw oranges at each other. Those who throw oranges from carts are the tyrant's guards and those on the street are the rebels.
6. Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada
To quote it's organizers, Burning Man is "an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance." About 50,000 people gather in the desert outside Reno at the end of August to form Black Rock City, a community where anything goes. Here you will find everyone from artists to nudists to hippies to frat guys. Halfway through the festival, the organizers light a giant wooden man on fire, hence the name.
5. La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain
Another food festival, this contest in Spain happens the last Wednesday of August in the tiny Spanish town of Buñol. More than 30,000 people descend on its streets to throw tomatoes at each other for an hour. La Tomatina is amazingly fun and very messy. By the end, the streets are a sea of tomato juice (sauce?) with people slipping and sliding all around it. After the festival, people clean themselves off and party in the town square until the wee hours of the morning.
4. The Baby-Jumping Festival, Castrillo de Murcia, Spain
Possibly the oddest celebration on the list, this festival has grown men leaping over newborns while donning strange costumes and wielding whips and truncheons. Why, you may ask? They are hoping to get the evil spirits out, of course. And this has been going on since the 1620s. Demons be gone!
3. Testicle Festival, Zumbrota, Minnesota
Every September the Minnesota Testicle festival celebrates, that's right, bull testicles. This very country themed gathering serves up more than 2,000 pounds of beer batted, chicken nugget-sized fried bull balls, more commonly known as Rocky Mountain Oysters (which also made our list of weirdest foods in the world. If you would rather pass on tasting the guests of honor, you can take part in a rodeo, fashion show, and cook off. Big-name country music bands stage performances as well.
2. Hadaka Matsuri, Japan
It is believed in Japan that a man without clothes can potentially absorb bad evils and omens from the community and those nearby. So for the last 500 years or so, thousands of men have run through their city wearing nothing more than a loincloth to expel evil from the world. Now that's taking one for the team.
1. Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach, South Korea
Historically, this mud festival in South Korea is supposed to help relieve skin diseases. Today it is widely seen as a place to participate in a gigantic mud fight. Young Koreans and expats living Korea come during a national holiday to party, throw mud, and meet people. It doesn't matter if you are coming to heal your skin or cover your friend with mud, it's a great way to have some good clean (well, dirty) fun.
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