The World's Strangest Vacations

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

Author and references

"Country you go, custom you find" they say. This is also true in the case of parties: it is enough to move a few kilometers from our home to discover traditions and ways of celebrating totally different from those we are used to ... let alone what can happen on the other side of the world!
Are you ready for a roundup of the strangest parties existing on our planet? Fasten your seat belts and ... let's go!


  1. Kanamara Matsuri, Kawasaki - Japan
  2. Hadaka Matsuri, Okayama - Japan
  3. Monkey Buffet Festival, Lopburi - Thailand
  4. Cat Food Festival, Cañete - Peru
  5. Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, Gloucester - England
  6. El Salto del Colacho, Burgos - Spain
  7. Encierro, Pamplona - Spain
  8. Feast of the Horned, Rocca Canterano - Italy
  9. Ballu di li Diavuli, Prizzi - Italy
  10. Roswell UFO Festival, Roswell - New Mexico
  11. Turkey Testicle Festival, Byron - Illinois
  12. Thaipusam Festival - different nations
  13. Songkran Festival - Thailand
  14. Tunarama, Port Lincoln - Australia
  15. Boryeong Mud Festival, Boryeong, South Korea
  16. User questions and comments

1 - Kanamara Matsuri, Kawasaki - Japan

The central theme of the event is a huge penis, once a popular cult object for prostitutes who wished to pray against the possibility of contracting diseases. In this festival, the shape of the penis is king and is used for illustrations, candies, decorations, cutting vegetables, as well as for the mikoshi parade.

2 - Hadaka Matsuri, Okayama - Japan

It is actually a repeated manifestation in many Japanese cities, but the site of the rite is in Okayama. In this festival, a series of almost naked men, generally covered only by the classic Japanese thong, must grab a branch that hangs from the ceiling to which sweets have been hung: the goal is to offer the sweets as a gift to the divinity, and then to divide them among the initiates.

3 - Monkey Buffet Festival, Lopburi - Thailand

Annual festival with a tourist objective, which consists ofoffer the local monkeys a buffet made up of fruits, vegetables and other goodies.

4 - Cat Food Festival, Cañete - Peru

It is a manifestation where they come about fifty cats sacrificed, whose meat is then used to prepare various foods such as schnitzel, huacatay or greaves: according to popular belief, cat meat has aphrodisiac properties and is good for the bronchi.

5 - Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, Gloucester - England

Annual spring sporting event in which participants compete in a race on heavily steep slopes, chasing a wheel of cheese that rolls.

6 - El Salto del Colacho, Burgos - Spain

Ancient Spanish festival known as "El Salto del Colacho" in which men dressed like the devil (the Colacho) jump over the children born in the last 12 months and resting on mattresses on the street. Despite the danger, tradition has it that this process is useful for cleaning children from original sin, guaranteeing protection from disease and evil spirits.

7 - Encierro, Pamplona - Spain

Manifestation that sees the release on the streets of the city of a group of angry bulls, who chase the men for about 800 meters. The party is held in several Spanish cities, but in Pamplona it has particularly strong roots.

8 - Feast of the Horned, Rocca Canterano - Italy

Parade of men who have been wronged by their wives (i.e. have been betrayed). The men march with a pair of horns on their heads, sometimes crying or breaking dear objects linked to their relationship as a couple, amid the jeers of visitors.

9 - Ballu di li Diavuli, Prizzi - Italy

Folkloric-religious tradition of the Easter period, in which two masked devils and another person representing death wander the streets of the town making jokes to passers-by, in some cases holding them back and releasing them only in exchange for money or sweets.

10 - Roswell UFO Festival, Roswell - New Mexico

Annual parade in which people dress up as aliens and attend short lectures held by experts to remember an event in 1947 in which an object, presumably an extraterrestrial spaceship, crashed near the town: the episode is still subject to controversy today to determine whether it really happened or not.

11 - Turkey Testicle Festival, Byron - Illinois

Festival in which animal testicles are prepared in batter or fried and eaten afterwards. The festival is held in different towns, but was born in Byron.

12 - Thaipusam Festival - different countries

It is a Hindu festival held annually in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, Guadalupe, Reunion, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and in which piercing activity is taken to the extreme: the more you endure the pain, the greater the blessing you receive.

13 - Songkran Festival - Thailand

Large fight with water guns which takes place every New Year all over Thailand. Some people make use of buckets or even elephants.

14 - Tunarama, Port Lincoln - Australia

Manifestation that celebrates tuna fishing and which includes a parade in the city streets, musical entertainment and some truly original competitions, such as the challenge of tuna launch.

15 - Boryeong Mud Festival, Boryeong, South Korea

International mud fight which every summer attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.

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