If you are looking for a list of weird holiday traditions from around the World, you’ve come to the right place. Holidays are fun ways to celebrate good times with family and friends. Many are known throughout the world, like Christmas, while others are a bit more obscure. Without further ado: Read on to find out about the top ten weird holiday traditions from around the world.
Weird Holiday Traditions from around the World:
1. Punch your neighbor in the face day
Once upon a time, Pachamama, goddess of the earth, demanded that fresh blood is spilled in order to guarantee a good, plentiful harvest. Apparently, a horror movie fan, Pachamama decreed that the more blood was shed, the better the harvest would be. In some areas, priests still sacrifice guinea pigs and llamas to Pachamama. But in Potosi and Macha, Bolivia, the locals enjoy unusual holiday traditions beating each other to a pulp.
In a May celebration, those native to the Bolivian Andes meet for the annual Tinku Festival. This is also known as Punch Your Neighbor in the Face Day. While this sounds like a great way to get back at your neighbor for not returning your lawnmower. Those celebrating the day are paying homage to Pachamama. This day used to lead to many deaths.
However, police now keep an eye on the festivities to make sure that all fights are kept one-on-one. Also, fights called off when the participants draw first blood. This is local hospitals sponsor one of several festivals that we are pretty sure. Due to a somewhat violent nature, Face Day makes in the top ten weird holiday traditions lists.
2. La Tomatina
Take one quaint, peaceful town in Bunol, Spain. Add thousands of ripened tomatoes. Now, mix in an incredible number of people itching to toss tomatoes. You are now primed for what we think we can safely say is the most ferocious battle ever to have been waged with tomatoes. Sound interesting? then, prepare your self for more about this unusual holiday tradition.
In 1945, a handful of young men tried to push their way into a parade. One boy was knocked to the ground, and he began to knock things over in anger. In a twist of fate that resonates to this day, one of the things he knocked over was a tomato stand. When faced with tomatoes and a fiery temper, only one thing would do. He began throwing the tomatoes at everyone and everything. La Tomatina has had some detractors, and it was even shut down until 1957 when people carried a giant tomato inside of a coffin through the streets to protest the banning of the festivities.
The festival gets more than a little messy, and fire brigades are on hand to hose down the streets after the hour-long battle. The fun factor of La Tomatina earns it a spot in the top ten weird holiday traditions lists around the world.
3. Nyepi day
In Bali, Indonesia, there is a weird holiday traditions celebration that is kept very quiet. In fact, Bali itself is kept quiet for one entire day in a Hindu Festival of Silence.
During this day, Hindus fast and remain in their homes for one complete day of reflection. No one is permitted on the beaches or streets, and within their homes, no one can read newspapers, watch TV, perform any activity that is distracting, or use electricity. Even tourists are asked to respect the traditions of Nyepi Day. Local police patrol the streets to be sure the rituals are being respected.
This sounds like it may not be quite as much fun as the next holiday from the weirdest holidays lists.
4. Lopburi monkey buffet
We want to emphasize that, contrary to the name, this has nothing to do with eating monkeys. Lopburi Thailand is one of the oldest cities in the country. It has a laid-back, sleepy feel to it, until November 25 when it plays host to hundreds of macaques in the annual Lopburi Monkey Buffet Festival.
Lopburi started the tradition to pay homage to Hanuman, a monkey deity. Hanuman rescued his bride from the clutches of a demon with ten heads, discovered Lopburi and settled there. The monkeys are reportedly his descendants.
This weird holiday tradition features a buffet table with goodies for the monkeys to enjoy and vendors that sell snacks for visitors to feed the furry guests. It is a bit unsettling that the tourism industry recommends that spectators avoid areas with trees and wires due to monkeys who will fling feces at them. Talk about an unwelcome tip after the meal!
5. El Colacho
The locals in Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, have been jumping over babies since the 1600s in a weeklong celebration known as El Colacho. The fun begins when a man, dressed as the devil or El Colacho, runs through the streets, whipping people as they insult him. Then, all babies born within the past year are lined up on mattresses, and El Colacho jumps over them to cleanse them of the original sin.
This weird holiday festival is more proof that sometimes religion can be terrifying, so this strange tradition makes into the top ten weirdest holidays lists.
6. Straw bear day
In the small farming community of Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire England, young men would be covered head to toe in straw one night per year and paraded from house to house, where he would sing and dance for money and food.
The tradition has evolved to a weekend festival where the dancing straw bear is marched down the street in a parade. On Sunday, the straw bear is burned, presumably with the young man no longer inside. This unusual holiday tradition takes place on the second full weekend in January.
7. National weather person’s day
If the stress of never quite right getting to be too overwhelming, at least a weather forecaster can look forward to February 5. This is recognized in the United States as National Weatherperson’s Day.
February 5 is the birthday of an early weather pioneer, John Jeffries, who began to record daily measurements in 1774. The jury is still out on whether any actual advancements have been made since he took to the sky over England to gather weather data in the first manned balloon flight, in 1748.
There is only a 30% chance that you knew this unusual holiday existed, with just about a 5% chance that you give a darn.
8. International beer day
Belly up to the bar to celebrate International Beer Day, an annual celebration of all things near and “beer” to your heart. Held on the first Friday in August, International Beer Day has celebrated across six continents and spans over 80 countries. The day is meant to unite nations by drinking beer, sharing the beer with family and friends. Moreover commemorating all the wonderful things that are, simply, beer.
The festivities of this weird holiday traditions include opening or tapping newly brewed beers, sampling beers from other countries, day-long happy hours, and beer pong or other drinking games. We bet it also includes a prize for the most creative way to call out of work the next day.
9. National melon day
On the second Sunday in August, the citizens of Turkmenistan gather to celebrate the melon. The festivities revolve around all fruits, but particularly the sweet, juicy muskmelon.
This weird holiday tradition is a nod to farmers who have achieved the perfect balance of size, taste, and aroma of the Turkmenbashi melon, a muskmelon hybrid. Since 1994, this has been a national holiday full of celebration, fun, and…melons.
10. Bonza bottler days
When nearly every living thing in your country can maim or kill you. It’s only natural that Australians would look for an excuse to have a holiday every chance they can. Bonza Bottler Days are celebrated monthly, when the day and month match up, for instance, January 1, February 2, and so on.
The name literally means Great Excellent and is an excuse to have a party every month. The holiday was begun in 1985 by Elaine Fremont when she realized there were months with no holidays in them. She founded the holiday as a way for friends and family to get together and have a little fun all year long.
It’s amazing no one ever made this a holiday before 1985. So, we tip our hats to Elaine Fremont and give her a spot on the top ten weirdest holiday lists.
We know that different cultures have different meanings and each culture has its own traditional holiday festivals. For some of us, this cultural difference might be seen weird, but for the local, it is seen normal. So, we need to show respect and enjoy the fun of these weird holiday traditions.