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Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
Feb 14

19 Of The Weirdest Festivals In The World - Part Two

This is Part Two of our roundup of some pretty odd festivals that take place all around the world. There are some weird ones that are very well known. We've looked at some that are much less well known.

If you haven't seen the first 10 in Part One of this rundown then head to 19 Of The Weirdest Festivals In The World - Part One and then pop back here for the last 9 of them. 

So in Part One we saw all sorts, from people jumping over babies to camels wrestling for our amusement. 

It's not getting any less mental in Part Two here. 

11. World Gurning Championships

Gurning is all about pulling the ugliest face you can. 

Generally speaking it seems to be the more 'gummy' (toothless) of contestants that seem to do well. 

The World Gurning Championships is the highlight event of the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. They also do a Pipe Smoking Contest and Cumberland Wrestling - whatever the hell that is. 

More info here. 

12. Sapporo Snow Festival

Ah. It's our friends the Japanese again! Wasn't going to be long before they featured again, in fairness. 

This Snow Festival is getting bigger and bigger, attracting millions to Japan every February.

Lasting a full week, the festival sees giant sculptures in ice and snow lining the main Street of Susikino.

Now, for the Japanese, that's fairly tame. 

13. World Toe Wrestling Championships 

Ok. Straight off it's important to point out that all competitors have a hygiene check in this one. no stinky feet allowed. 

Dating back to the 1970s some time this is now an annual event in Derbyshire. 

Held in The Bentley Brook Inn, it's run in aid of charity

The story goes that the sport was devised by a British man as he felt Britain needed a sport it was the best at.

All well and good til a Canadian won the inaugural event though! Sickener. 

Check it out here.

14. Night Of The Radishes

Held in Oaxaca city in Mexico every Dec 23rd, this one involves  Mexican craftsmen carving root vegetables into all sorts of figures and things. 

The festival only lasts a few hours but is very popular.

The radishes used are special ones which are left in the ground much longer than the regular ones are harvested in order to let them take their giant form. 

While they can use flowers and bits and bobs to make things prettier, the essence of this one is the delicate carving of the radish. 

Mad stuff, Ted. 

15. Tunarama

I hate tuna.

This crazy ass festival began back in 1962 and was actually designed to help the tuna industry get established as it set up in Port Lincoln in Australia.

The festival has a real family vibe to it with free entertainment etc. 

They seem to do REALLY well with sponsorship and I don't think they get any funding. 

Have a sniff around here for yourself.

16. Kanamara Matsuri (Fertility Festival)

No prizes for guessing where this one happens. . . 

Directly translated the name means 'Festival of the Steel Phallus' and the penis is the central theme of the fun and games.

I've plucked the following directly from Wikipedia as I don't think I could do any better in explaining it:

The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are also divine protections for business prosperity and for the clan's prosperity; and for easy delivery, marriage, and married-couple harmony. There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) that hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, which led to the enshrinement of the item.

You loopy doopy Japanese people you . . . 

17. World Body Painting Festival

I swear this one wasn't just an excuse to put a nearly naked woman in here. 

Some of the painting at these festival in Austria each year is absolutely phenomenal.

Check it out for yourself.

18. Eeyore's Birthday Party

I know very little about this one.

I think it's an excuse for people to get dressed up in bright silly clothes.

Sure, what harm!

(A little) more here!

19. Cheung Chau's Bun Festival

So they build 3 x 60ft towers covered with buns and then people try to climb them. 

The idea is to grab a bun from as high up as you can and the higher a bun you get the more good luck will be due to your family. 

In 1978 one of the towers collapsed and injured around 100 people. They changed things a bit after that. 

Buns. I like buns. 


Ok so what weird festivals do you think I should have included then?

I got plenty of suggestions after Part One. 

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