Travelling can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you need a little element of surprise in your trip. If you’d like to change it up from your usual sightseeing and clubbing, book a plane ticket to see one of these six ultra-weird festivals and holidays in person; you’ll leave with a whole new appreciation for a new culture!
1. Buso Festival - Hungary
Image from An American in Budapest
Held in March, this festival sees men dressing up as horned devils or ‘Busos’ in order to chase away the winter. It dates back to the 18th Century and it’s pretty weird if you unwittingly make it into the city of Mohacs in Hungary during the festival with no context. Don’t be scared though, they’re just sick of the cold, so grab a costume and join in!
2. La Tomatina - Spain
Image from Spotahome
Let’s say for some reason you’re looking to try out a new type of Eurotrip. While your friends all boast pictures at Pisa and the Eiffel Tower, you want to do something different. Well, look no further than the city of Bunol in Spain, where you can roam the streets and engage in this mass tomato fight. Why? We’re not sure, but it does check off the unique factor for this festival.
3. Underwater Music Festival - The United States
Image from BBC America
Divers, snorkelers and musicians gather every July in Florida and wear ridiculous and whimsical costumes before going underwater. What happens next, you wonder? From specially sculpted underwater instruments to underwater lip syncing, you’ll want to bring your camera to this one.
4. Up-Helly Aa - Scotland
Image from davegifford.co.uk
Is there an arsonist living deep within your soul? Do you crave to set things on fire but society and your moral code won’t allow it? Have no fear; every January in St. Ninian’s Isle, people dress up as Vikings and basically just set things on fire. The festival is to celebrate the end of the Yule season, but if we’re all honest with ourselves, most of us just like burning things.
5. International Hair Freezing Contest - Canada
Image from Daily Mirror
Sometimes circumstances can hinder your ability to have fun, and what circumstances could be more detrimental than the frigid cold winter of Canada? In bizarre and good spirit the locals at Yukon (one of Canada’s coldest regions) have created a hair freezing festival that takes place every March. Using water and the icy Canadian air, people are encouraged to freeze their hair in weird and fantastic shapes. The fun is surely worth the long flight, but make sure to stay warm!
6. Las Bolas de Fuego - El Salvador
Image from americamia.com
What’s better than one fire-themed festival? Two! This festival is known as the fireball festival and it takes place in August at Nejapa, El Salvador. Locals gather in the town square and throw flaming rags at one another to re-enact the events that took place in 1922, when a volcano erupted and people saw balls of fire in the air. Many attributed the phenomenon to the city’s patron St. Jeronimo, who they believed was battling the devil for them.