Sunday, January 26, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

10 Crazy Festivals You Must See At Least Once

All around the world, people celebrate fun and crazy festivals. Each culture has its own idea of what makes a party, and you might find that some of them are just as awesome as the holidays you enjoy where you’re from! Check out some of these wild festivals. Be sure to keep a pen handy—you’ll want to add a few of these to your bucket list.


1    La Tomatina

Buñol, a town in East Spain, holds this tomato-throwing festival once a year. For seventy years, this has been a favorite celebration of the locals, who apparently find dousing each other in tomato juice to be the most delightful of pastimes. As weird as it sounds, this festival is actually a really fun one to take part in! The rules of the festival are that you have to squish the tomato before throwing it, and that you have to stop when the fight is over. After the fact, fire trucks have to clean up the town.

La Tomatina


2    Songkran

The 13th of April is Thailand’s New Year’s celebration. The more serious aspects include traveling home to greet one’s elders and getting chalked by monks. The fun part, though, is the giant nation-wide water fight! People use super-soakers, buckets, and even elephants to thoroughly douse their friends and neighbors.



3    Thaipuism

This is a Hindu festival celebrated in many Asian countries. There are several aspects to it, but the most fascinating is the tradition of crazy body piercings. You might want to sit this one out and just watch! Many men pierce their bodies in grotesque ways, including small wooden dowels through the cheek. The more painful the piercings, the stronger you are, and the more blessed. Yikes!


4    Tunarama

Port Lincoln, Australia celebrates tuna fish every year! Sounds weird? Sure, but what would we do without tuna sandwiches, I ask you? The celebration includes Tunarama Royalty, costume contests, and a competition that looks like shotput with a huge fish.



5    Carnival

Although the most popular Carnival celebration is in Rio, communities all along the Caribbean coast and in the Caribbean islands celebrate this festival. Throughout the spring and summer months, parties, food, and parades fill streets full of revelers. Music is everywhere, and its jovial rhythm seems to take over the heartbeats of the merrymakers.



6    Argungu Fishing Festival

For a whole week, the community of Argungu in Nigeria celebrates fishing and peace. At one time, all types of fishing were allowed during the festival, but for safety reasons, only traditional means are permitted today. On the last day of the festivities, everyone jumps into the river to see who can catch the biggest fish bare-handed. The resulting catches are quite impressive!

Argungu Fishing Festival


7    Up Helly Aa

In Scotland, this festival is held to mark the end of the Yule season. On the big day, teams of Scots dressed as Vikings carry torches through the town, ending at a replica of a big Viking ship. When they arrive, they toss their torches onto the ship and watch it burn. If you have an inner pyro, you’ll love watching this festival!

Up Helly Aa


8    Running of the Bulls

In Spain, Mexico, and even parts of France, you can enjoy running for your life in front of a herd of bulls. Sound fun? If that adrenaline rush is for you, then by all means book the next flight out. Surprisingly, there are far fewer deaths and injuries than you’d expect from this sport. In the last hundred years of the sport, only 15 people have died.

Running Of The Bulls


9    Holi

This Indian festival has become so popular that you can find events all around the world. This Hindu festival celebrates spring and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It’s also a ton of fun! Everyone gets packets or baskets of colored powder, which they throw all over everyone else. At the end, people are psychedelically colored all over, and smiles are everywhere!



10    The Redneck Games

On second thought, maybe this is one festival to skip. The Redneck Games, held in Georgia, include such illustrious sports as hitting flies with spitballs and dumpster diving. Channel your inner good old boy and you’ll have a good time.

The Redneck Games



There’s no better way to experience a culture than taking part in their celebrations. These festivals may seem wacky or even dangerous, but they’ll put you in the middle of the action.



  1. January 7, 2017 - 9:57 pm

    I’d love to attend all except for the last one. I think Holi would be the most amazing to experience followed by Up Helly Aa. It’s wonderful to see how every culture has a unique way of celebrating holidays, seasons, and religious events. A few of crazy festivals I’ve seen on TV or had friends who have attended. Wonderful check list of crazy festivals!

  2. Britanica
    January 7, 2017 - 10:05 pm

    I have seen some pictures and videos from Carnival and it looks so amazing! The dancing, the music, the colorful costumes! I give a lot of those women credit because they dance for HOURS! I have never seen it live but I would love to some day. It just looks like a beautiful event that just celebrated happiness.

  3. Hannah
    January 8, 2017 - 6:43 am

    I’ve only heard of three of these festivals, but they all sound awesome. Songkran particularly sounds so cool. A huge water fight sounds amazing! Also the Redneck Games is about the most American thing I’ve ever heard and sound simultaneously horrible and awesome all at the same time. Up Helly Aa also sounds totally incredible and like such a cool experience. I’d love to go to that one.

  4. Kyle
    January 9, 2017 - 10:20 am

    Tunarama, The Redneck Games, some of these festivals are news to me. Rio is the only one I’ve checked so far and it was amazing!! I was expecting a big show but the atmosphere was unbelievable, everyone was dancing and partying, hopefully I’ll go again in a few years.

  5. Veronica
    January 9, 2017 - 8:49 pm

    Up Helly Aa looks surreal, I’ve never heard of it before but if it’s viking related my hubby will love it!

  6. James
    January 10, 2017 - 10:20 am

    I’d like to participate in the Carnival whether it is in Rio or in some Carribean Islands. I personally think that this is the kind of festival every people would enjoy. I love everything from their colorful floats and costumes to their street performances.

  7. Summers
    January 10, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Tunarama is new to me, I think it is interesting. It’s Tuna dude! Tunaaa! lol Good list of festivals here, some of them are new to me though.

  8. Stephanie
    January 10, 2017 - 1:08 pm

    Haha, I was wondering who the hell cleans up all those houses after the tomato fight #cleanaingfreak…

  9. Rachael Mills
    January 11, 2017 - 1:19 am

    I would love to partake in all these festivals apart fro the Running of the Bulls, that seems way to dangerous as far as I am concerned. I have plans of going to Rio for the next carnival.


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