• Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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World Festivals

It’s that time of year where there appears to be a festival on every week. We all go to the street festivals or the music festivals, but when you go to these year after year they can become a bit repetitive. So, here at Hostels.com we’ve been taking a look at some other festivals that are out there that aren't so typical!
We’ve put together our pick of some of the weird, wonderful and interesting festivals around the world. This collection of strange festivals from around the world should keep you entertained as well as bring you to some amazing places.


Monkey Buffet Festival, Bangkok, Thailand

This annual festival takes place in the in Lopburi province north of Bangkok on the last Sunday of November. For the Monkey Buffet Festival a selection of fruit and vegetables are given to the large monkey population that inhabit the area. This is perhaps one of the strangest festivals around the world but there’s also something really nice about celebrating the local wildlife of the area. And once you’re done feeding the monkeys then there is plenty to do in Bangkok; just read our Bangkok City Guide for all you need to know. 

Hadaka Matsuri, Japan

Believe it or not, naked festivals are common occurrence in Japan all year round. The biggest and most popular one of these is held every January in Okayama, where the first naked festival of this kind originated. Thousands of men take part in this strange festival every year, and while it is called a naked festival, loincloths are worn by most participants. This festival is steeped in ritual and traditions and is regarded as a way of getting rid of evil and bad luck. Hadaka Matsuri may seem like a bit of a strange festival to some, but it is a popular annual event in Japan.

La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain

Probably one of the best-known of the interesting festivals around the world is the La Tomatina Festival – the tomato-throwing festival. This giant food fight is held every year on the last Wednesday of every August. It takes place in the town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain and its main feature is one big tomato fight! For this traditional cultural festival, the streets of Buñol are filled with tons of over-ripe tomatoes and for one hour everyone lets loose and slings tomatoes at each other. Taking part in the giant tomato fight is optional but it's definitely an experience not to be missed! La Tomatina runs for the week with lots of music, parades, fireworks and dancing so it really is worth checking in to a cheap hostel and staying here for a few days. That hostel will also be handy for a shower and a quick change of clothes after all that tomato-throwing! And if you need any more information on what happens at La Tomatina festival then just click here to read more.

Cow’s Ball, Bohinj, Slovenia

The Annual Cow's Ball, or Kravji Bal in Slovenian, takes place every September by beautiful Lake Bohinj. This lake lies in the heart of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. The Cow’s Ball originated as a celebration of the return of the cattle to the valley after a summer pasture. The festivities include cows being decorated for a parade that also featuress herdsmen, dairymaids and cheese-makers. There is lots of traditional Slovenian folk music and dancing included in the festival. Local produce and gifts are also on sale in the many stalls that are set up during the festivities.

The Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Italy

If you find yourself in the region of Turin, Italy in February then be sure you make your way to the town of Ivrea. Here you will find the locals taking part in annual Battle of Oranges. This festival is based around some fearsome orange-throwing where the townspeople divide into nine combat teams and, well, throw oranges at each other. This carnival goes on for days, with the traditional carnival days being Sunday to Tuesday. This is a great local festival based on a lot of culture and tradition in the town. Ivrea is only about an hour's drive from Turin and it really is worth paying a visit to witness this great festival.

Eurochocolate Festival, Perugia, Italy

If you are anywhere close to being classed as a chocoholic then the Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia is a must! This festival is every chocolate-lover's dream, as the streets of Perugia are lined with hundreds of chocolate vendors offering all shapes and sizes of chocolate-themed treats. This chocolate-tasting festival takes place around mid-October and its aim is to promote creativity...and, of course, chocolate!


Eurochocolate photo courtesy of Chiara Marra. All images used under the Creative Commons license.


By: tracy.lynch

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