The Craziest Festivals That Unite People Around The World

Festivals aren’t just limited to music and food. The world really knows how to get creative and basically make anything and everything its own festival.

From toe-wrestling competitions to wine-gun fights, some of these festivals will get you wondering how you can sign up, while others will make you run the other way.

Holi Festival Of Color In India

group-of-people-having-neon-party
Photo Credit: Marcin Dampc / Pexels
Photo Credit: Marcin Dampc / Pexels

People gather at this festival armed with powdered paint and they all start to throw it in the air and at each other until everything and everyone around is covered! The result is a beautiful explosion of bright colors.

The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is also known as “festival of spring,” the “festival of colors,” and the “festival of love.”

Festival De San Fermín (Running Of The Bulls) In Spain

san-fermin-pamplona-navarra-LJrszMj1RJc-unsplash
Photo Credit: San Fermin Pamplona – Navarra / Unsplash
Photo Credit: San Fermin Pamplona – Navarra / Unsplash

This is a festival where you turn running for your life into a party. Adrenaline junkies will love this one, but so will safer partygoers. The nonstop party includes food, drinks, dancing, and music.

The actual bull run is about half a mile long with six agitated bulls and six steers chasing you into an ancient Spanish arena.

Mud Festival In South Korea

Mud Festival
Photo Credit: @tvpadventures / Instagram
Photo Credit: @tvpadventures / Instagram

The festival where it’s not only permitted but even encouraged to get down and dirty! And it gets real messy real quick.

It’s basically one big muddy party with music, inflatables, and plenty of mud-related activities, from zip-lining to mud wrestling.

Batalla Del Vino In Spain

Batalla del Vino
Photo Credit: @outex.europe / Instagram
Photo Credit: @outex.europe / Instagram

Now here’s a festival you might want to get behind. If you’re a wine lover, then you’ll love this. The festival is all about wine-drinking competitions and contests.

The main event is the Battle of Wine, which is a big water gun fight, but instead of water, it’s done with lots of wine.

Up Helly Aa In Scotland

up helly
Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Images via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Images via Getty Images

Don’t let the name intimidate you, there’s nothing actually hellish going on. The festival just has you pretending to be a Viking for a night.

Right after Christmas, groups of torchbearers dress in Viking costumes, drag a replica of a galley through the streets, and collectively torch it at the destination point.

Battle Of The Oranges In Italy

Battle of the Oranges
Photo Credit: @marilu_dipierr / Instagram
Photo Credit: @marilu_dipierr / Instagram

If you got excited thinking you get to eat a lot of oranges here, you got it all wrong. You actually get to throw the oranges at other people.

Participants hit each other in the face with oranges. It is quite painful, but thousands still show up eager to take part all dressed up in battle attire.

Gilroy Garlic Festival In The USA

Gilroy Garlic Festival
Photo Credit: @gilroygarlicfestival / Instagram
Photo Credit: @gilroygarlicfestival / Instagram

You might want to pack some gum with you if you attend this one. Famous for being the largest food festival in the world, you get to try basically every garlicky food you can think of, including garlic ice cream.

Between food breaks, festivalgoers can enjoy live entertainment and cooking competitions.

Wife-Carrying World Championship In Finland

Wife Carrying World Championship
Photo Credit: TIMO HARTIKAINEN / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: TIMO HARTIKAINEN / AFP via Getty Images

We’re not talking about romantic carrying, like newlyweds do. The participants are allowed to carry their wives in many ways, like piggyback or Estonian-style (where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around her husband’s shoulders).

The prize is the best part, it is awarded based on the wife’s weight in beer. Hopefully, she doesn’t mind having everyone know how much she weighs.

Songkran Festival In Thailand (Water Fight)

Songkran Festival
Photo Credit: @oasiskohchang / Instagram
Photo Credit: @oasiskohchang / Instagram

This has to be the world’s largest water gun fight! It has the whole country of Thailand soaked. Children and adults alike take anything from water guns to buckets to douse each other.

Some even take it to the next level and get some elephants in on the fun.

World Bodypainting Festival In Austria

Bodypainting Festival
Photo Credit: @heatherhughesphotography / Instagram
Photo Credit: @heatherhughesphotography / Instagram

This impressive celebration of art features breathtaking body art that is modeled in shows with international DJs.

The models are dressed up in creative makeup, mindblowing costumes, and paint that is detailed by over 300 artist teams. It draws over 30,000 spectators!

Nabana No Sato Festival (Winter Light Festival) In Japan

Nabana no Sato
Photo Credit: @jessoloing / Instagram
Photo Credit: @jessoloing / Instagram

Want to step into a magical modern fairytale? This is where you go. Nabana no Sato is a park entirely dedicated to flowers. For the festival, the park is illuminated with around 8 million LED lights.

The winter wonderland is best known for its 200-meter-long light tunnel, made up of around 1.2 million light bulbs. Each of these bulbs is the representation of a tiny flower and they make a path to the whole park.

Oktoberfest (Beer Festival) In Germany

Oktoberfest
Photo Credit: @tijanajovic / Instagram
Photo Credit: @tijanajovic / Instagram

What’s better than beer and a dance party? This is why Oktoberfest is the world’s finest beer festival.

It is meant to celebrate the harvest season. It dates back to 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Sax-Hildburghausen, and everyone was invited to attend festivities in the field in front of the city gates. Over 200 years later, they’re still celebrating!

Naki Sumo Baby Crying Festival In Japan

Naki Sumo
Photo Credit: @j_salmoral / Instagram
Photo Credit: @j_salmoral / Instagram

While parents around the world are trying to get their babies to stop crying, the ones here are trying to do just the opposite. Imagine this. Two giant sumo wrestlers in a ring, each is holding a baby. Their goal is to make their opponent’s baby cry.

Supposedly, this brings the babies good luck and wards off evil spirits. Hopefully, no babies get traumatized in the process.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival In Hong Kong

Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Photo Credit: @jaytindall.asia / Instagram
Photo Credit: @jaytindall.asia / Instagram

Imagine having an entire tower of sweet buns piled 60 feet high, and all you have to is climb up while you grab as many of the buns as possible.

That’s exactly what happens in this festival as towers line the streets of Cheung Chau in the days leading up to this festival.

Air Guitar World Championships In Finland

Air Guitar World Championships
Photo Credit: EEVA RIIHELA / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: EEVA RIIHELA / AFP via Getty Images

You must have tried, at least once, to play your own air guitar to a really cool riff, at least as a kid. In Finland, you could take those skills to an internationally competitive level.

The event is meant to promote world peace, as they describe it: “According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar.”

Blackawton International Festival Of Worm Charming In England

Festival of Worm Charming
Photo Credit: @dinnysummers / Instagram
Photo Credit: @dinnysummers / Instagram

In this competitive festival, participants are separated in teams and given a square meter of land each, and then they literally have to “charm” as many worms as possible out of the ground in 15 minutes.

Obviously, digging them out would be too easy, so the only rule is you really have to get creative in your strategy.

Beer Can Regatta In Australia

Beer Can Regatta
Photo Credit: Helen Orr / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Helen Orr / Getty Images

Here’s a creative way to take recycling to the next level. The goal for participants is to create boats using empty beer cans and bottles.

They sail the boats around a path that has a hidden object underwater somewhere along it. The one who finds it first wins!

Carnival Of Basel (Fasnacht) In Switzerland

Carnival of Basel
Photo Credit: Frank Bienewald / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Frank Bienewald / LightRocket via Getty Images

This festival is basically a big masked parade. The festival of masks is Switzerland’s largest carnival. The masks usually portray politicians, characters, and animals.

Don’t take your mask off! It’s considered inappropriate to reveal your identity while parading.

Mardi Gras Festival In New Orleans

Mardi Gras
Photo Credit: SAEED KHAN / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: SAEED KHAN / AFP via Getty Images

If you really want to know what a big party feels like, you need to go to Mardi Gras. Although traditionally, it’s a Catholic celebration, the American celebration means an extravaganza of colors, music, and drinking.

Participants dress up in masquerade garb and over 50 parades take over the city streets.

World Toe Wrestling Championships In England

World Toe Wrestling Championships
Photo Credit: Simon Cooper / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Simon Cooper / Getty Images

If feet gross you out, you might want to avoid reading the next sentence. This “sport” has two people lock feet and attempt to pin each other’s foot down with no time limit.

The silver lining is their feet have to be first examined by a nurse, so they can’t be too dirty.