Tuna Throwing & Baby Jumping: The World’s Most Bizarre Festivals

Most festivals around the world often reflect rich cultures, traditions, and histories. Others however….stand out for their oddity. Here’s a look at the seven most bizarre festivals celebrated globally, each offering a unique look into the weird side of human nature.

1. La Tomatina – Spain

In the small town of Buñol, Spain, the last Wednesday of August transforms into a battleground of squishy, ripe tomatoes. La Tomatina is a festival where participants throw tomatoes at each other, painting the town red in the most literal sense. Originating in 1945 from a local food fight among friends, this event has now evolved into a world-famous spectacle attracting thousands of tomato-tossing enthusiasts.

2. Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho) – Spain

Spain makes another entry with El Colacho, celebrated in Castrillo de Murcia. Held during the feast of Corpus Christi, this festival involves men dressed as the Devil (known as El Colacho) leaping over rows of babies laid on mattresses in the streets. This bizarre ritual, dating back to 1620, is believed to cleanse the infants of original sin and protect them from evil spirits.

3. Monkey Buffet Festival – Thailand

In the city of Lopburi, Thailand, the Monkey Buffet Festival is a grand feast for the local monkey population. Every November, over 4,000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, and sweets are laid out in front of temples for the macaques to enjoy. The festival, which started in 1989 to boost tourism, celebrates the local monkeys, who are considered symbols of good luck and prosperity.

4. Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea

Every July, the coastal city of Boryeong in South Korea hosts the Mud Festival, an event where participants engage in various activities involving mud. From mud wrestling and mud sliding to swimming in a giant mud bath, this festival is both fun and therapeutic. The mud, sourced from the local mud flats, is rich in minerals and is believed to have beneficial properties for the skin.

5. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling – England

In Gloucestershire, England, Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Festival is a daredevil event where participants chase a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down a steep, rugged hill. The first person to reach the bottom wins the cheese. The festival, with its origins unknown, is notorious for the injuries sustained by participants as they tumble down the hill in pursuit of the rolling cheese.

6. Ivrea Orange Battle – Italy

The historic town of Ivrea in Northern Italy hosts a vibrant yet chaotic festival known as the Battle of the Oranges. Held in February, this event commemorates a medieval insurrection against a tyrannical lord. Participants, divided into nine teams, engage in a fierce orange-throwing battle in the town’s squares, turning Ivrea into a sea of orange pulp and juice.

7. Tunarama Festival – Australia

Port Lincoln, Australia, is home to the Tunarama Festival, held every January, which features a rather peculiar highlight: the tuna toss. Participants compete to see who can throw a frozen tuna the farthest. Originally started to promote the local tuna fishing industry, the festival also includes seafood feasts, boat races, and a variety of family-friendly activities.

Whether it’s cheese-wheel chasing, baby throwing, or a monkey buffet, these bizarre festivals highlight the creativity and diverse traditions that exist across the globe.


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