Baby Jumping Festival – Spain
The baby jumping festival takes place in Castillo de Murcia as one of the many celebrations that occur all over Spain for the catholic festival of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ). It takes place on the first Sunday after Corpus Christi and it is thought to have occurred on an annual basis since way back in the 1620′s.
Babies are placed on the ground while grown men dressed as devils jump over them. This is supposedly a way in which the infant is cleared of all their wrong doings. This event may be highly scary to watch and to even participate in, but it is a tradition which I’m sure they all believe in and enjoy.
For those babies who think they escaped from this death defying stunt, they haven’t. The ones who did not take part will go on to jump through fire in another festival which occurs on the 21st December in Granada, known as the Hogueras. Jumping through fire apparently protects them from illness. I don’t know which festival is more dangerous!
Date: 7th June.
Camel Wrestling Championships – Turkey
Camel wrestling appeared to have begun in Turkey 2000 years ago, but the camels are no longer bred in the country, but come from other countries such as Iran and Afghanistan. They are specially fed to increase their bulk further to allow them to fight successfully.
Camel wrestling is a sport shown for comical value as it is a way in which the male bulls fight for attention in mating season. They choose to knock out their opponents because of this and the female camel that is in the arena is sure to spur them on. In the arena two bulls are led out and then a young cow is paraded around to get them excited. During the fight the bulls mostly choose to push and lean on each other until one of them gives up and runs away, sometimes in to the crowd which makes the event even more exciting for the spectator!
Only the richest people in Turkey are able to maintain the camels for this event which means that it is becoming more unpopular every year. Would you fight like this for a girl!
Date: 13th January.
Monkey Buffet Festival- Thailand
This monkey buffet festival takes place every year on the last Sunday of November. It takes place in Lopburi city, near Bangkok, whose significant symbol is the monkey. The event takes place in front of the Pra Prang Sam Yod temple and is the most talked about event in the country.
The Long-tailed macaques freely roam around the town and this festival is a way in which the residents thank the monkeys for drawing tourists to the town. It is said that they enjoy stealing human belongings as well as lifting up the ladies skirts! The 3000 or more monkeys are offered various treats ranging from biscuits to coke, alongside over 2000kg of fruit and vegetables, some encased in blocks of ices to provide a bit more entertainment . These really are cheeky monkeys, but are definitely worth a visit!
Date: 25th November.
La Tomatina- Spain
La Tomatina (known as the tomato festival) takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August in Valencia. The overall vibe of the festival seems to be a massive food fight involving tomatoes. Around 30,000 participants come from all over the world to fight in this tomato throwing battle, where more than 100 metric tons of over ripe tomatoes are involved. These come from Extremadura where they are less expensive. The participants wear white in order to see where they have been hit.
This is no normal food fight and there are rules to follow:
- the tomatoes must be squished before throwing
- tearing other peoples clothes is highly frowned upon
- bringing other items such as glass bottles in to the fight is forbidden
- eye protection is advised
A ham is placed on top of a large greasy pole and must be brought down before the fight can begin. Except this is a fight in itself with many being clambering up to get it. When the ham is successfully down, a cannon is blown to signal the beginning of the tomato throwing. An hour or two later, the cannon is fired again to signal the end.
What could be more exciting than being involved in what can only be described as one of the world’s biggest and best food fights! Especially one that exists purely for fun!
Date: 29th August.
Ivrea Orange Festival – Italy
The orange throwing festival is a 3 day carnival in which one event allows for this orange throwing food fight. The event allows 9 teams to throw oranges at each other. Anyone who wants to participate must be on one of these teams to do so. Those who wear a red hat have stated that they do not want oranges thrown at them and are only there as a spectator.
The participants re-enact an ancient battle in full medieval costume, except instead of the standard weaponry, they are armed with only oranges.
Date: February 12th.
The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race – England
The Yorkshire pudding boat race was a simple idea thought up by Simon Thackray in the early 90s. It was one of those random thoughts that you would always think would never happen, but Simon made sure it did. The event began in 1999 on Bob’s Pond in Brawby.
The boats are actually just large Yorkshire puddings, each one made from four bags of flour, 50 eggs and 25 pints of milk, but the secret is that they are varnished with many layers of Yacht varnish to keep their sturdy and prevent them from becoming soggy and water logged. Although this may seem like a bizarre concept, Yorkshire pudding boats were once used as rescue boats in time of severe flooding. Each boat is powered by electric motor.
Not only are Yorkshire puddings a lovely and tasty addition to your roast dinner, but they are useful to!
Cheese Rolling- England
This official event is a day in Gloucestershire that is full of fun and laughter for both spectators and competitors. It involves a wheel of cheese being let lose down a hill with around 20 competitors (in each heat) following it down. This may sound easy, but when you see the gradient of the hill you will see where the difficulties come from. The result seems to be bodies literally flying down a hill (as it is near impossible to stay on your feet the whole way!) Although people are injured doing this, they come back year after year to be a part of this historical event. The participants pray for a little rain before the event, so that the ground becomes softer which causes less impact when they land.
The tradition has been in place since 1940 with the cheeses used being handmade by one woman: Mrs Diana Smart since 1988. She uses the milk from her own cows which include Brown Swiss, Holstien and Gloucester cows. Although the cheese is not even the reason why it is so loved, many who win it do not even want it. It really is the taking part that counts in this case!
The event is free to enter and free to watch to many people can take part in this growing tradition.