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10 weird and wonderful festivals from around the world

12 July 2019 08:20

Which of these weird festivals would you visit?

Which of these weird festivals would you visit?

Want an altogether more off-the-wall travel experience? Check out one of these weird and wonderful festivals from around the world...

La Tomatina, Spain

Get messy at the world's biggest food fight! Every summer, thousands take to the narrow streets of Buñol in eastern Spain, to throw roughly 100 metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes at each other in one of Europe's most iconic cultural festivals. Places are limited, so make sure you book tickets in advance and don't forget to pack your swimwear and goggles!

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

If tomatoes aren't your thing, how about getting messy in the mud instead? Every summer, the otherwise sleepy Korean resort of Boryeong welcomes revellers to experience the nutritional benefits of the town's mineral-rich mud. Expect mud fights, mud slides and mud pools and a healthy dose of live K-POP, kimchi and fireworks to mark the festivities.

Songkran, Thailand

The world's biggest water fight takes place on the hot, sweaty streets of Thailand every spring. Although Songkran has its roots as a traditional Buddhist festival celebrating the new year, these days it's popular with tourists too, as hoards take to the streets armed with water pistols and buckets! For more information on Songkran, check out our ultimate guide.

Il Palio di Siena, Italy

Are you a fan of horse racing and medieval Italian piazzas? Well at Siena's famous Palio festival, you'll be able to experience both at the same time! The Palio sees horses representing different neighbourhoods race around the Tuscan city's impressive Piazza del Campo in front of a fervent crowd of thousands. There are two races each summer, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.

Burning Man, USA

There's no event in the world quite like Burning Man. Every summer, like-minded souls from around the world descend on the Nevadan desert to create an experience that's as much a mindset as it is a festival. Sculptures, performances, music and more culminate in the centrepiece of the event: the burning of a 30-metre-high wooden man. With its 'leave no trace' mentality, it definitely has to be seen to be believed!

Holi, India/Nepal/Sri Lanka

Festivals don't come much more colourful than this! The ancient Hindu festival of Holi is celebrated over two days but it's the second day's festivities that are most widely recognised, as perfumed, coloured powder called gulal gets thrown around excited crowds, before merrymakers soak each other with water pistols. The festival is celebrated across the Indian sub-continent, meaning you have plenty of destinations to choose from.

Naadam, Mongolia

A celebration of Mongolian culture, Naadam has roots dating back to the 13th century but its importance really took off after the country's independence from China in 1921. The festival includes three main games: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery, which take place in front of thousands. Nadaam is Mongolia's biggest event so if you're heading to Ulaanbaatar make sure you book well in advance.

Krampusnacht, Austria

The old adage goes that when Christmas comes, naughty boys and girls receive a lump of coal in their stocking. But Austrians take things a step further with their Krampusnacht festivities every December. Parades full of locals dressed up as half-goat/half-demon Krampus pass through towns across the country, carrying torches and whipping bystanders with twigs as they scare children into being nice at Christmas.

Heading to a festival? Get the right cover!

Before you pack your bags, make sure you have the right insurance to cover you for the entirety of your trip. At World First, we offer a range of travel insurance options that will give you peace of mind for your next adventure.