5 of the Most Unusual Festivals in the World

Festivals are among the fascinating things to see and experience when traveling. There is no dearth of interesting things to find in gatherings that celebrate art, culture, religious rituals, music, and more. But there are some events that stand out for their rather unusual ways of celebrating customs and traditions. And here are just some of them.

1. Cheung Chau Bun Festival (Cheung Chau, Hong Kong)
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is an annual traditional Chinese festival dates back to the 18th century. It features a lot of attractions including parades and lion dances. The festival’s highlight, however, is its bun scrambling contest where the participants race to climb the bun towers made with bamboo covered with thousands of handmade buns.

2. El Colacho (Castrillo de Murcia, Spain)
El Colacho
Every year, in the village of Castrillo de Murcia in Spain, the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi features an out-of-the-ordinary festival known as El Colacho or the Baby Jumping Festival. During this event, all babies born in the past year are laid down on mattresses in the middle of the street. The adult male villagers then take their turns jumping over the babies.

3. Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme (Las Nieves, Spain)
Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme
The Festival of Near Death Experiences is an annual festival dedicated to the Patron saint of resurrection – Santa Marta de Ribarteme. Here you will find throngs of people carrying coffins where those who had near-death experiences in the previous year lie.

4. Kanamara Matsuri (Kawasaki, Japan)
Kanamara Matsuri
Also known as the Penis Festival, Kanamara Matsuri is an annual festival held during the first Sunday of April. While many considered it as just another quirky event, the festival has historic and religious roots that make it more than just a “weird” event. Some of the highlights of this unusual event include the black phallic mikoshi or palanquin carried around during festivals, a huge pink penis effigy, and the wide-array of penis-themed souvenirs.

5. Nakizumo (Tokyo, Japan)
Nakizumo or “sumo of tears” is a tradition that dates back to over 400 years. It is often held in temples like the famous Sensoji Temple in Tokyo. Sumo wrestlers carrying babies compete against each other. Don’t worry there is no wrestling involved. Instead, the sumo wrestlers hold babies and face off to see whose baby will cry first. The last one to cry wins.