Strange and Weird Celebrations

All around the world, there are strange events that happen every year, like the Monkey buffet festival, in Thailand, pictured above, or the annual tomato fight at Bunol, in Spain, shown in the last image, but these that follow are seven  ot the oddest annual festivalsyou might ever visit, and maybe worth aiming to see, one day.
For the Chinese, Yue Lan, better known as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts ,is celebrated to mark the day when, according to Chinese belief, a doorway opens, to the underworld, allowing restless spirits to wander the earth as freely as they wish. Fake money is burned, in an effort to appease the spirits, as well as paper models of things such as cars or houses, a method for passing these luxuries on to the world of the spirits. . Two to three days, for which the festival is celebrated, see streets lit with many paper lanterns, incense being burned  to keep ghosts at bay, and fireworks set off for the spirits, in some areas

1. The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

The Songkran Festival, in Thailand, is a really fun event to attend, and quite refreshing.  Happening during Thailand’s hottest month,  April, Songkran is basically the biggest water fight in the world, where. Friends, and strangers, splash each other with hoses, water balloons , or anything that holds water. The sprinkling of water, in actual fact, was originally more ceremonial, but over time has become nothing more than a wet and wild celebration,  lasting from three to ten days, depending on where in Thailand you happen to be.

2. The Songkran Festival of Thailand

A really odd festival, known as Thaipusam, is popular in Singapore and Malaysia, but nowhere near as enthusiastically as it is celebrated in South India. Originating as a Hindu festival, celebrated by the Tamil community ,on the day of a full moon, in either January or February. Thaipuism literally means Star, at the highest point.  This bizarre celebration marks the day Goddess Parvati gave  a spear to Murugan,  that he might defeat the evil demon Soorapadman. Things begin with devotees cleaning  themselves by having a bath, and washing thoroughly.

3a  The terrifying Thaipuism Festival

Spending their time in prayers and fast on that day, they even shave their heads, but mortification of flesh is the real reason for this festival taking place, the greater pain a devotee enduring.  the greater the blessing of God, so devotees pierce their  faces and bodies, with sharp skewers, also trying to pull heavy weights via hooks, piercing their  flesh. Not a tourist attraction for the squeamish.

3b  Yet another gruesome image

Kanamara Matsuri , obviously Japanese, is a Shinto fertility festival, held each year, in which people create giant penis images, from every possible object they can find. Worshipping huge penis idols during the festival, people are enthusiastic because, Japanese culture regards the penis s as a symbol of fertility, gateway to the next generation.

4a. The Kanamara Marsuti Japanese Festival

Celebrated on first Sunday of April, usually, but dates vary with the Japanese calendar, from year to year. For preference, penis images are made  from  candles, candy, decorations, and vegetables, b mostly anyway, and are paraded through the city. Prostitutes pray to, and offer sacrifices to  giant penis objects, hoping to safeguard themselves from various sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS, by so doing.

4b. Girl astride a giant penis sculpture

The Japanese love their weird festivals, and among the more bizarre in the world is Hadaka Matsuri, which is all about getting naked in public, and thousands of men,  from all over Japan, appear on the street of their cities, naked, except for, in some cases, pieces of loin cloth around their organs. As this strange festival is almost 500 years old, based on the Japanese belief than a man without clothes has more potential, to absorb bad evils and omens,  anybody touching these naked men being freed from all bad spirits, and evils haunting him, so this is a very touching celebration.

5. Hadaka Matsuri Japanese Festival

The Devil’s Jump, or to give it the proper name, El Colacho, is celebrated in Spain, where unbelievably people put their just born, or just a few months old babies onto a mattress, then sitting back, as other people leap over it!  Taking place on the streets of the town, anybody who wants to join in can jump over this mattress laden with infants. Despite the outrage of social activists, who find this festival offensive and potentially deadly, it goes on,  because Spanish people believe that performing this act drives off sins of previous lives, so a guarding babies against future illness, and evil spirits, assuming of course that they survive the celebrations.

6. The Baby-jumping El Colacho Spanish Festival

Finally we come to another fantastic, fun-fiiled celebration of life itself, in the South Korean annual festival known as the Boryeong mud bath.  If you dislike getting dirty, stay away from this mud festiva, because it really is all about messing everyone around you up, with Boryeong mud, considered to be very effective for treating any skin problems. International visitors with skin problems, found that they benefited by participating, which goes to show that fun can be of medical benefit, in more ways than one.

7. The fun-filled Thai Boryeong Mud Festival

If something unusual needs to be on your travel itinerary over the next few years, you could check out some of these amaxing spectacles, getting to see things that yoiu might otherwise never manage to witnes. There is nothing on earth stranger than the human animals that dwell upon it, and these are ample proof of that.
All images used with permission

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