Every culture in the world holds festivals of some kind or another. Festivals are important because they bring people together and create a sense of communal unity.
Festivals are a great way for travelers to really experience the local culture and see the inhabitants’ traditions and way of life. Here are a few of the more bizarre festivals from around the world.
What: Cooper’s Hill Annual Cheese Rolling and Wake
Where: Gloucestershire, England
When: 27th May 2013
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival has been held for over 200 years. In recent years, it has come to be viewed as dangerous, so the last three years, it has been “unofficially” held, rather than “officially.” Each year a 7-9 pound wheel of Double Gloucester Cheese is tossed down an unbelievably steep hill, and then people chase after it. The un-catchable cheese reaches speeds of up to 70mph. Participants often suffer minor injuries, such as sprains, broken bones, and concussions, from tumbling down the hill as they chase after the cheese.
What: Moose Dropping Festival
Where: Talkeetna, Alaska, near Denali National Park
When: July 13-14, 2013
The Moose Dropping Festival is a festival where lacquered pieces of moose feces are dropped from hot air balloons onto painted moose targets below. A softball tournament and 5k marathon are some of the other summer events going on the same weekend.
What: Outhouse Classic
Where: Trenanry, Michigan
When: Last Saturday in February
Trenanry, Michigan hosts the Outhouse Classic for no reason other than to break the winter doldrums and have some wacky fun. Outhouses are decorated and then mounted on skis, complete with toilet seats and toilet paper. They race their outhouses by pushing them to the finish line.
What: Wife-Carrying World Championships
Where: Sonkajärvi, Finland
When: Last Saturday in July
This bizarre festivals heralds back to the day when men would pillage the neighboring villages for women and run them back home, with the women forced to be the marauders’ wives. In the modern day event, husbands must carry their wives through an obstacle course race. The winning couple receives the weight of the woman in beer.