Local festivals are often the highlight of a trip abroad. For a truly unique experience here are five of the most unusual festivals celebrated around the world.
Holi Festival (India)
The Holi Festival, or Festival of Color, is one of the largest annual festivals in India. Celebrated in early March on the day following the full moon, the Holi Festival marks the arrival of spring. It’s a fun and exciting day of celebration with people throwing paint and colored water on each other. People of all communities and religions participate in the Holi Festival and it is said to encourage a feeling of brotherhood and unity in Indian society.
Monkey Buffet Festival (Thailand)
The Monkey Buffet Festival takes place each year in the Lopburi province located north of Bangkok in Thailand. During the festival monkeys numbering into the thousands are given fruits and vegetables as part of an annual feast held in honor of Rama. The Monkey Buffet Festival helps to promote tourism to Thailand.
Boryeong Mud Festival (South Korea)
The Boryeong Mud Festival takes place in late July on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong City, South Korea. Festival activities include mud wrestling, a mud king contest, mud fireworks and mud sliding. Festival participants end up covered from head to toe in mud. The Boryeong Mud Festival is recognized by the South Korea tourism ministry and the event attracts tens of thousands of foreign tourists each year.
Cheese Rolling Festival (United Kingdom)
The Cheese Rolling Festival takes place on Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom. During the festival competitors chase a roll of cheese down the hill. Due to the steepness of the hill Cheese Rolling Festival competitors rarely make it to the bottom without falling. In 2010 the official event was canceled but an unofficial version of the festival carried on as usual. At the time of writing it is unclear if the official Cheese Rolling Festival will resume in coming years.
Songkran Festival (Thailand)
The Songkran Festival, or water festival, celebrates the New Year in Thailand with water fights that take place throughout the country. The annual festival begins on April 13th and typically lasts for three days though it can last for as many as ten days in some parts of the country. The Songkran Festival takes place during the hottest season of the year in Thailand. The Thai people celebrate the festival by throwing water on one another. No one is safe and foreign tourists are especially vulnerable to attack. If you plan to visit Thailand during the festival prepare to be soaked.