We have all heard of festivals like Coachella and Oktoberfest, but the world is full of intriguing and unusual celebrations. If you are looking to try something new and expose yourself to fascinating cultures and traditions, check out these unique festivals.
Boryeong Mud Festival—Daecheon Beach, South Korea
If you’re not afraid to get down and dirty, head over to the Boryeong Mud Festival. This carefree celebration occurs during the first two weeks of July, drawing millions of global visitors to South Korea’s Daecheon Beach. The festival began in the late 1990s to advertise the mud crafts that are popular in this part of the country. While the mud fights are the most thrilling part of this unique festival, it also offers lots of opportunities to shop for mud-based items and try homemade local treats.
Despite its unusual nature, Kukur Tihar is one of the most wholesome festivals in the world. Taking place every year in late October or early November, Kukur Tihar is a celebration to honor Yama, the Hindu god of death. Since dogs are considered to be Yama’s messengers, the second day of the celebration is a special time to pamper all of the country’s stray dogs. In addition to receiving warm baths and colourful flower garlands, the dogs get offerings of meat and milk as people send their prayers to Yama.
Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival—Florida, United States
Every year in July, Looe Key reef is the site of one of the world's most unique celebrations. Divers, snorkelers, and musicians gather here to raise awareness for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the preservation of coral reefs. While you can listen to the underwater concert by tuning into local radio stations, snorkeling or diving with the beautiful tropical fish in among the coral reefs makes for the most thrilling and unforgettable experience.
World Toe Wrestling Championship—Ashbourne, United Kingdom
You are probably familiar with arm wrestling, but have you ever seen toe wrestlers in action? If not, head over to the Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park to witness one of the world's strangest competitions. Every year in August, visitors from around the world flock to the small English town to go head-to-head
in toe wrestling battles. Much like arm wrestling, the goal of the competition is to pin your opponent’s big toe until they tap out. While it is definitely one of the most bizarre competitions, watching people duke it out with their feet can also be incredibly fun.
Las Bolas De Fuego—Nejapa, El Salvador
If you like playing with fire, then you need to head over to the town of Nejapa. Every year in August, this town hosts Las Bolas de Fuego, the Festival of Fireballs. The festival was inspired by the 1658 volcanic eruption of El Playon and the giant balls of fire that plummeted down on the town. The town was relocated after the eruption, but they commemorate the event with this annual festival. For the crowds of people that attend the celebration each year, watching teams of men throw kerosene-soaked, flaming rag balls at each other is a nail-biting yet highly entertaining experience.