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10 Strangest European Festivals

Do you like spending your free time in an unusual way with traveling? We offer you a list of 10 strangest European festivals which you can visit. You will see that some people are ready for many odd things in order to get the brightest recollections.

Bog Snorkelling Championships, Great Britain

Today bog snorkeling is a very popular international competition that gathers hundreds of visitors from various world’s corners. This event is held in the end of August in a city of Lanutrid Wells, Wales.


This competition is a race in two ditches full of water and connected with a peat bog. According to the rules, the contestants should not use the common swimming styles, but they obligatory have to wear flippers, a mask and a snorkel. Those who are not good in swimming are offered to overcome a 2-meter deep peat bog on a bike.

Yorkshire Pudding Boat Races, Great Britain

This is not a joke! Boats are truly made of pudding (flour, water and eggs).

The truth is that the boats are covered with polish in order to repulse the water. Then they are sent down the river. Children with sculls steer these weak constructions.


Such type of competitions was invented by Simon Thackerey who were looking at the water and thinking about how great it will to travel down the river in the pudding-made boat. Well, he embodied his idea into life, and this kind of “sport” became very popular.

The event took place in the beginning of June in a small town of Braubi, North Yorkshire.

World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival, Germany

If you have dreamt about travelling in the pumpkin along the river, you should visit Ludwigsburg (Germany) in autumn.

Nearly 400-500 thousand of pumpkins of various types are involved in this festival. People build different topic figures from them. For instance, the last year’s topics are “The Jurassic Park” (dinosaurs made of pumpkins), “Egypt” (pumpkin Pharaohs) and “Ocean” (whales from pumpkins).


If you want some more impressions, take part in boat races where (of course!) all the boats are made of the giant pumpkins. Such gourds can weight about 300 kg, so your race will turn into a real contest for those who will stay afloat and will not turn over.

La Tomatina, Spain

This is one of the most popular unusual world’s festival, as well as one of the craziest one. Food fights happen in the last Wednesday in August in a small town of Buñol, the province of Valencia, Spain.

The contestants gather on the central square at 11 a.m. and there starts the game Palo Jamon. Its goal is to clamber up the 6-meter column greased with soap and to throw down a porky ham which is fixed at the very top of the column.


As soon as someone copes with this task, tomatoes are detrained out of lorries and the real tomato massacre begins. This chaos lasts for an hour, and then the streets of the town are washed for several days.

Pay attention: if you are going to visit this event, don’t put on clothes which can be thrown away afterwards.

Cheese Rolling, Great Britain

Hypothetically, once upon a time one ingenious man climbed to the top of the Cooper’s Hill and thought: “It could be great to throw down the cheese from the height of 9 pounds and then run after it!” There also is a version that the festival refers to the ancient pagan ceremony: different things were rolling down the hill for a fertile soil.

Today the story is not really important because this annual spring holiday attracts more than 15 000 people want to run after the cheese.


In fact, each race happens in the following way: the cheese is thrown from the top of the mountain, the contestants fall and roll from the hill following the cheese, the ambulance cars are waiting for everyone at the foot of the hill.

Of course, the amount of traumas is great, that is why the health care organizations will decide the future fortune of this contest.

El Colacho, Spain

One more strange ritual was born in Spain, Castillo de Murcia. One man, a local dweller, gets a doubtful regard to dress up as a devil, go out and jump over the rows of infants lined on a road beforehand. This a pretty crucial task because the infants’ life depends on the man’s foot strength.

123A man dressed in a red and yellow costume representing the devil, known as "El Colacho", runs through the streets chasing a boy during traditional Corpus Christi celebrations, in Castrillo de Murcia June 3, 2010. This northern Spanish town has for centuries chosen to protect its young from evil spirits with an unusual ritual in which a man dressed as the devil leaps over mattresses each holding four or five babies. REUTERS/Felix Ordonez  (SPAIN - Tags: SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Why do they do it in Spain?

Everything began in 1620 on a Catholic holiday called the feast of Corpus Christi. The ritual is appealed to guard the infants against diseases, hoodoo and demons.

Wife Carrying Championships, Finland

In order to win the contest occurring in Sonkajärvi you need to be the first in carrying your wife to the final lap. However, this is not a common race – this is a true obstacle course. The route is full of barriers, sand heaps and even a swimming pool which you have to cross.

The task is complicated by a few allowed ways of wife-carrying: on the shoulder or when a wife hangs downward, embracing her husband by her legs and holding his waist.

123Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen from Finland compete during the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajarvi, Finland on July 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / RONI REKOMAA +++ FINLAND OUTRoni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: 29

What’s the prize, you will ask? The winner gets as much beer as his wife weights.

Battle of the Oranges, Italy

On this holiday the dwellers of a small town of Ivrea dress up in medieval costumes and perform the ancient-like battle. In fact, they use only oranges instead of weapon.


According to the legend, this festival symbolizes the revolt of local people against the cruel tyrant. People throwing oranges from the carts are the tyrant’s security and people staying below are the rebellious urban community.

Festival of the Pig, France

Trie-sur-Baïse village is known all around France by its most qualitative pork. This is a place where the Festival of the Pig, called La Pourcailhade, was born and is held each second Sunday of August.

There is an abundant of amusements here. For instance, you can taste different food, take part in choosing of the best pig costume, gamble on pigs, as well as take part in the sausage eating championship.


But the main zest of the festival is a pigmen battle where the jury evaluates all the stages of pigs’ life on the farm: from their birth to a ham.

By the way, this holiday also includes the black pudding eating contest. The participants have to eat a meter of this delicacy.

Fire Festival, Great Britain

The most unusual fire festival in the world – Up Helly Aa – is held in the Lerwick, Scotland.

In the end of January this city is full of people who dress up as Vikings. These people pull a drakkar – a fighting Vikings’ ship – performed in a life size. After they deliver the drakkar to its destination, it is burnt.

By the way, for this reasons a new ship is built every single year. When a vessel turns into ashes, mass celebrations with dancing and drinking begin.


They happen all around Lerwick and lasts till the very morning.

And which of these festivals would you like to visit?

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